India is about to join an exclusive naval club-those countries that build and operate nuclear-powered submarines. The Ship Building Centre at Visakhapatnam launched the nuclear-propelled submarine Arihant ("destructor of enemies") on 26 July 2009. In elaborate ceremonies, a coconut hull was smashed against the submarine's bow by Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, wife of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
In his remarks, Singh called the event a "historic milestone in the country's defense." He said, "We don't have any aggressive designs nor do we seek to threaten anyone. We seek an external environment in our region and beyond that is conducive to our peaceful development and protection of our value systems." The prime minister congratulated everyone associated with the Advanced Technology Vessel, the Indian euphemism for the nuclear submarine program.