MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti) - India launched its first nuclear-powered submarine on Sunday for sea trials, national media reported.
The launch ceremony of the 6,000-ton INS Arihant (Destroyer of Enemies) was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur, the Times of India said.
The submarine completes India's nuclear triad, making it the sixth country after the U.S., Russia, China, France and the U.K. to have land, air and sea-based nuclear strike capability.
The submarine will be armed with torpedoes and missiles, including 12 ballistic missiles, and can also be armed with cruise missiles, the paper said. It is powered by an 85-MW reactor, and can reach a submerged speed of 44 km/h (24 knots). It will carry 95 crewmembers.
The long-running project to build the submarine, completed with Russian help, is part of a $2.9-billion plan to build five submarines.
The design was based on a Charlie 1 submarine that India leased from the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. Sea trials and weapons tests will take place in the Bay of Bengal, and the submarine is expected to enter service in two or three years.