An image, taken by GeoEye’s satellite and made available on Google Earth, shows what appears to be the conning tower (or sail) of a submarine in a gap of covers intended to conceal it deep inside the Visakhapatnam (Vizag) Naval Base on the Indian east coast. The image appears to show a gangway leading from the pier with service buildings and a large crane to the submarine hull just behind the conning tower.
INS Arihant under Initial Cover ( Image Courtesy - fas.org )
The Arihant was launched in 2009 from the shipyard on the other side of the harbor and moved under an initial cover. An image released by the Indian government in 2010 appears to show the submarine inside the initial cover. The new cover, made up of what appears to be 13-meter floating modules that can be assembled to fit the length of the submarine, similarly to what Russia is using at its submarine shipyard in Severodvinsk.
Image captured by GeoEye Satellite ( Image Courtesy - fas.org )
The movement of Arihant from the initial cover building to the module covers next to the service facilities and large crane indicates that the submarine has entered a new phase of fitting out. The initial cover building appeared empty in April 2012 when the Indian Navy show-cased its new Russia-supplied Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine: INS Chakra.
It is thought that the Arihant is equipped with less than a dozen launch tubes behind the conning tower for nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Arihant is expected to become fully operational by early 2013. It is expected that India might be building at least two more SSBNs, and one of which is being rumored to be named as INS Aridaman .
News Courtesy - fas.org