First on LiveFist: INS Arihant Launch, Blackout on Photography

The MoD/PMO has decided not to release any photographs of the submarine, and no filming or photography by the media was permitted inside the Matsya Dock, even though we were just ten metres from it and watched the entire show simply awestruck. But that thing you see behind Dr Singh in the second photo is INS Arihant! If and until any photos are released officially, I will shortly post an illustration of the real thing.

VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 26: Have had a truly spectacular day here in Vizag, one among the first group of journalists ever to lay eyes on India's advanced technology vessel, the nuclear submarine INS Arihant. First things first -- the submarine is visible based on the Russian Borei-class SSBN (moments before we saw the real sub in its dock, we noticed the official invitation had a silhouette of the submarine indicating that it's almost definitely based on the Borei). The submarine has a launch crew commanded by Captain Anshuman Dutt. A phenomenal sight in the Matsya Dock of the Shipbuilding Center (SBC), the submarine was slowly towed out, as we I and other journalists sat ten metres from it, pretty much just in absolute amazement, and simply overwhelmed by the moment. The advanced technology vessel!

A dark matted olive shade, its anechoic tiles clearly demarcated (or a bad weld job?) The boat, bearing all the obvious signs of Russian influence, will undergo harbour acceptance trials (HATs) and full systems trials over the next one year, followed by sea trials and then weapon systems trials. The boat does not have a towed array sonar pod, and has a gradual gradiented hump. According to the official figures released today, the submarine is 110-meters long, 11-metres wide and has a submerged displacement of 6,000-tons.

Just back from a very tiring flight, but a supreme day with the INS Arihant. More tomorrow.

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