Source : IgMp Bureau
First phase of strategic nuclear submarine base INS Varsha (Project Varsha) is nearing completion
The construction of the first phase of India’s first secret submarine base INS Varsha under ‘Project Varsha’ is nearing completion that will protect, conceal and accommodate its nuclear ballistic missile submarines and ships.
The base will feature concrete pens carved out of the hills and it is estimated that the project will cost around 30,000 crore rupees.
Project Varsha or INS Varsha is intended to supplement the Indian Navy’s fleet of 8-12 nuclear-powered ballistic missiles and assault submarines. It will also include underwater enclosures to protect the submarines from enemy air strikes and hide them from spy satellites. The navy is seeking international technical support for the base’s nuclear safety features. Despite being constructed primarily to host nuclear submarines, the new base can accommodate additional naval vessels due to the Indian Navy’s expansion.
This facility has been compared to the Chinese PLA Navy’s top-secret Hainan nuclear submarine station. The Indian Navy began its east coast base construction initiative in response to India’s Look East policy and Chinese naval expansion into the region.
Significance Of INS Varsha
Nuclear submarines are one of the most significant assets in a country’s navy, and keeping their whereabouts secret is critical. The spy satellites, the enemy’s eyes in the sky, pose the most serious risks. These satellites monitor every movement in the ports. A nuclear submarine can spend months submerged in the ocean. It is nearly impossible to detect and track a nuclear submarine traveling quietly 200 meters below sea level. However, when these submarines leave or return to port, hostile spy satellites may easily identify them. As a result, the anonymity of nuclear submarine deployment may be jeopardized.
It may offer the enemy information on the exact type and quantity of submarines in operation, which may give an idea of the defense preparations that are being made. No government will want such material disclosed in a warlike circumstance. In such cases, the whereabouts of SSBNs such as INS Arihant and INS Arighat must be kept secret. This is when underground naval bases come into play.
The Indian Navy currently operates 2 Arihant class nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) INS Arihant and INS Arighat, while two additional extended S4 class SSBNs are currently being outfitted at the outer dry docks of the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL).
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