Naval War College Review


Around noon on 26 July 2009, Gurushuran Kaur, the wife of the Indian prime minister, broke a single coconut on the hull of a submarine in the fifteen- meter-deep Matsya dry dock at Visakhapatnam (also known as Vizag). The occasion marked the formal launch of India’s first indigenously built submarine, a six-thousand-ton nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine (SSBN) known as S-2—also as the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) and, more commonly, by its future name, INS Arihant(destroyer of the enemy).2 The launch ended for In- dia a journey stretching over three decades since the inauguration of the ATV program and including an eleven-year construction period.