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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
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Just One Shark In The Deep Blue Ocean

INS Arihant won’t end the N-submarine debate. It’s just started.

Just One Shark In The Deep Blue Ocean
Just One Shark In The Deep Blue Ocean
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The making of a nuclear reactor to power a submarine started under Raja Ramanna in the late ’70s. But the project to build the nuclear submarine in parallel with dry-running the reactor at Kalpakkam began as the Advanced Technology Vehicle programme in the mid-’80s. Until then, it was not at all clear whether India’s first nuclear submarine would be a missile-firing one and, least of all, whether nuclear-tipped missiles were on the horizon. The order from Rajiv Gandhi to weaponise the 1974 nuclear device still lay ahead. But every strategist knew that a nuclear submarine of any kind was the final arbiter of power. Ramanna inducted Vice Admiral M.K. Roy, an aviator admiral and an old college buddy of his, to start the now famous Advanced Technology (ATV) programme to build a nuclear submarine. Again, rumour has it that the then navy chief, the much-admired Admiral Ronnie Pereira, felt that nuclear submarines were premature—that we should learn to walk before running. So, instead of the navy, the project took off under the...

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