PM Narendra Modi said INS Arihant completed its first deterrence patrol. PM Modi said INS Arihant is ''a fitting response" to nuclear blackmail. INS Arihant, a 6,000-tonne submarine, completes India's nuclear triad

India's first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, INS Arihant, has become fully operational, completing the country's nuclear triad. With the 6,000-tonne submarine in its arsenal, India will be able to strike deep inside China's territory, which otherwise cannot be reached by short-ranged land-based missile.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today that the submarine has completed its first deterrence patrol. He thanked the crew of INS Arihant for achieving the feat. "In an era such as this, a credible nuclear deterrence is the need of the hour. The success of INS Arihant gives a fitting response to those who indulge in nuclear blackmail," he said.

A nuclear ballistic missile submarine is a huge strategic asset due to its ability to remain under water for long duration, which gives it an element of stealth. The submarine can fire city-destroying missiles from a safe distance without getting detected.

PM Modi's cabinet colleagues have congratulated the armed forces for achieving the nuclear triad.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was a day of great pride for 130 crore Indians. "India achieves the nuclear triad with the first successful INS Arihant's deterrence patrol. Today is the day of great pride for 130 crore Indians and our armed forces," he wrote on Twitter.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman wrote on Twitter that India joined the elite club of countries that can design, construct and operate nuclear submarines. She lauded PM Modi for his leadership.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also congratulated Indian sailors for achieving the nuclear triad.

BJP President Amit Shah also congratulated PM Modi, saying under his leadership country's strategic and economic position got enhanced.

INS Arihant was under development for three decades under a highly classified programme. It comes under the direct control of the Nuclear Command Authority headed by PM Modi. Having successfully completed the deterrence patrol, the INS Arihant can now be considered a fully functional underwater ballistic missile delivery platform.