INS Arihant, India's first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, completed its first deterrence patrol on Monday and Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the success of the submarine "gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail".
The prime minister also congratulated the crew, saying INS Arihant will protect the "130 crore Indians from external threats and contribute to the atmosphere of peace in the region."
He also received the crew of the Strategic Strike Nuclear Submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant on Monday.
INS Arihant completes India's nuclear triad, which Modi termed as an "important pillar of global peace and stability". Other five big nuclear nations — US, Russia, France, China and the UK - are already full-fledged nuclear triad powers, according to NDTV.
The submarine is India's first indigenously built nuclear submarine and is capable of carrying 12 K-15 submarine-launched ballistic missiles that have a range of over 700 kilometres, according to PTI.
INS Arihant is a 6,000 tonne submarine and has a length of 110 metres with a breadth of 11 metres. It can also dive to 300 metres.
According to The Indian Express, SSBNs are bigger in size and differ from the conventional SSK submarine. They are powered by a nuclear reactor and can remain submerged for months without having to return to the base.
SSBNs are also different from the nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) because they can carry ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads, the report added.
INS Arihant is also a part of the navy's Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project, according to a report in NDTV. The project began in 2009 by then prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The submarine's atomic reactor was activated in August 2013 and it was quietly inducted in the Indian Navy in 2016.
Union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Rajnath Singh also congratulated the navy on the success of INS Arihant.
"India has achieved completion of her nuclear triad with the first successful deterrence patrol by INS Arihant," tweeted Sitharaman.
Singh tweeted," Congratulations to brave Indian sailors on INS Arihant for successfully completing its first deterrence patrol marking the successful realisation of the nuclear triad. This is a momentous occasion for India and will go a long way in safeguarding our strategic and security interests."