Made in complete secrecy, it was talked about in hushed whispers. Now in an exclusive interview to NDTV's Science Editor Pallava Bagla, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Dr Anil Kakodkar reveals that Russians did help and that it really is a very quiet vessel that adds to India's strategic depth.
Here are some excerpts from this exclusive interview recorded right inside the top secret facility in Kalpakkam on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
Q: Was this completely made in India?
Q: Designed, fabricated and executed in India?
A: Yes, that's right, by Indian industries.
Q: And by Indian scientists?
Q: At Vizag, the Prime Minister went out of the way and thanked the Russians, and the Russian ambassador was also present. What was the role of the Russians? India had leased a Russian nuclear submarine?
A: I would also like to thank our Russian colleagues they have played a very important role as consultants, they have a lot of experience in this so their consultancy has been of great help so that so that I think we should acknowledge.
Q: Consultancy for what?
A: For various things, as you go along when you are doing things for the first time with a consultant by your side you can do it more confidently and these are difficult time consuming challenges so you have to do this without too much of iterative steps and this helped in that.
Q: So this is not a Russian design?
A: It is an Indian design.
Q: Indian design, made in India, by Indians?
A: Yes, that's right.
Q: Is the noise level comparable to other submarines of this class, since that is a way of detecting submarines?
A: Yes, I think so. You have seen the inside and tell me if you felt some sound there?
Q: Compared to a power reactor the sound was minimal.
A: Compared to machinery running in any other places, did you hear much sound? I think this is very quiet system.
India is inching closer to becoming a world power. You can watch the full interview where details about INS Arihant's nuclear reactor are gently unveiled by India's nuclear chief Dr. Anil Kakodkar, later this week only on NDTV.