As a part of plan to strengthen its underwater fleet, the Indian Navy is planning to build a fleet of 18 conventional and six nuclear attack submarines. The Standing Committee on Defence tabled a report in the winter session of Parliament which says, “Eighteen (Conventional) plus six SSN (nuclear-powered attack) submarines are planned but the existing strength is 15 and 1 SSN is available on lease.”
Currently, Indian Navy operates Russian-origin Kilo Class, German-origin HDW class and the latest French Scorpene-class submarines in the conventional domain, reports News Agency ANI. On the other hand, it has leased one INS Chakra (Akula class) from Russia in the nuclear section.
Moreover, Indian Navy had planned to build six nuclear attack submarines along with nuclear-powered submarines of Arihant Class, equipped with nuclear missiles. The nuclear attack submarines are also planned to be built indigenously in partnership with private sector industries.
In its report, the Navy said that there has been the induction of only two new conventional submarines in the last 15 years.
The induction includes Scorpene-class vessels INS Kalvari and the INS Khanderi. “It was further informed that the existing 13 conventional submarines are between 17 to 31 years old,” the standing committee report adds.
Along with this, the Navy is currently working on a plan to build six new submarines under its Project 75 India. Under this project, which would be undertaken under the strategic partnership policy, six more conventional submarines would be built by the Navy in partnership with Indian companies and foreign origin equipment manufacturers.
(With ANI inputs)