NEW DELHI, March 1 (UPI) -- Indian officials said they planned to order two additional nuclear-powered submarines to join the INS Arihant, which is to finish sea trials this year.
INS Arihant, the first of its class, was designed by India's Defense Research and Development Organization and is to complete marine trials by early next year.
Prior to its launch many foreign naval specialists were skeptical if DRDO was capable of designing and launching such an advanced system.
The Indian navy recently inducted the Russian-built INS Chakra Kilo class submarine into its fleet, Rossiyskaya Gazeta's Russia and India Report reported Thursday.
The INS Arihant's development began in 1998, when Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes approved the project. It was in July 2009 that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh officially launched the Arihant development project.
Perhaps signifying an Asian naval arms race, many naval analysts say China is also trying to develop a fully indigenous version of a nuclear-powered submarine, which many expect to be completed soon.