Indian sailors stand on the deck of a submarine. (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)

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An Open Hatch Crippled India’s $2.9 Billion Submarine

Water damage will put the sub out of action for 10 months.

India’s first ballistic missile submarine was out of commission for 10 months after someone left a hatch open, which allowed seawater to floor the INS Arihant. According to an Indian Navy source, a hatch was left open near the rear of the ship while the Arihant was in the harbor, and the propulsion area was flooded. Water had to be pumped out and pipes were cut out and replaced. Popular Mechanics writes that Indian authorities likely felt that any pipes exposed to corrosive seawater couldn’t be trusted, particularly pipes that carry pressurized water coolant to and from the ship’s 83-megawatt nuclear reactor. Failing pipes could endanger the ship’s crew and the nuclear weapons on board. The INS Arihant is the result of a $2.9 billion submarine technology program. Construction on the sub began in 2009 and the ship was commissioned into the Indian Navy seven years alter in Oct. 2016. India is only the sixth country in the world to put ballistic nuclear weapons at sea and has a “No First Use” policy, which means it would only use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack. It is unknown who left the hatch open or how the accident occurred.

Read the full story at Popular Mechanics