code name Project Varsha, to berth its upcoming fleet of nuclear
India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine, INS Arihant, under
project Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV), was launched for trials last
year at the Visakhapatnam-based ship building centre (SBC). Arihant is
still undergoing its criticality certification at the SBC.
The navy has plans to build five more such nuclear-powered submarines
at SBC. The defence ministry also took over the Hindustan Shipyard
Limited (HSL) in Visakhapatnam last year from the ministry of shipping,
so that it could use HSL’s facilities and infrastructure to build the
The new base, Project Varsha, will have special features to ensure
safety of the submarines and the personnel onboard for maintenance.
According to a source, the government would be taking the help of some
other countries for the huge project as it required special fitments
and attachments made of special material.
Located about 200 kilometres around Visakhapatnam at an undisclosed
location, the base would be on the lines of the Chinese nuclear
submarine base in Hainan island, the source said. The base will have
accommodation and other facilities for the officers and men posted
Refusing to disclose the cost of the project and whether there would be
any special facility for missiles, a source said, “Not sure when it
would be ready. It might take time as it’s a special project and meant
mainly for nuclear submarines.”