NEW DELHI – India on Sunday launched the first nuclear-powered submarine built on its soil, joining just five other countries that can design and construct such vessels, the prime minister’s office announced. The Indian navy flooded a dry dock housing the 367-foot-(112-meter-) long submarine to send it out for trials at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. India does not seek to threaten anyone, Singh said at the ceremony in the southern port city of Vishakhapatnam. “Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon us to take all measures necessary to safeguard our country and to keep pace with technological advancements worldwide.” Until now, only the United States, Russia, France, Britain and China had the capabilities to develop nuclear submarines. The milestone is likely to rattle neighboring Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India, two of them over control of the Kashmir region, since they won independence from Britain in 1947. But India is looking beyond the old rivalry, asserting itself as a power on the Asian and international stage, according to Uday Bhaskar, a former naval commander and director of the National Maritime Foundation. The U.S., in particular, has encouraged India’s role as a possible counter to China, stepping… Read full this story
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