Indian Navy is Developing New Base on East Coast for Nuclear Submarines

The navy is coming up with a new  base on the east coast, under thecode name Project Varsha, to berth its upcoming fleet of nuclearsubmarines.

India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, underproject Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), was launched for trials lastyear at the Visakhapatnam-based ship building centre (SBC). Arihant isstill undergoing its criticality certification at the SBC.

The navy has plans to build five more such nuclear-powered submarinesat SBC. The defence ministry also took over the Hindustan ShipyardLimited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam last year from the ministry of shipping,so that it could use HSL’s facilities and infrastructure to build thesubmarines.

The new base, Project Varsha, will have special features to ensuresafety of the submarines and the personnel onboard for maintenance.According to a source, the government would be taking the help of someother countries for the huge project as it required special fitmentsand attachments made of special material.

Located about 200 kilometres around Visakhapatnam at an undisclosedlocation, the base would be on the lines of the Chinese nuclearsubmarine base in Hainan island, the source said. The base will haveaccommodation and other facilities for the officers and men postedonboard.

The base would accommodate other submarines and ships if required, thesource said, as a lot of vessels due for induction in the near futurewere facing space constraint.

Refusing to disclose the cost of the project and whether there would beany special facility for missiles, a source said, “Not sure when itwould be ready. It might take time as it’s a special project and meantmainly for nuclear submarines.”

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