Indian Navy to build, operate a mix of nuclear, conventional submarine fleet

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The officials were commenting on the ongoing debate on whether India and other navies should follow suit and go only for building nuclear submarines as they are more capable and stealthy than conventional submarines.

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of Australia’s decision to scrap a USD 90 billion deal with France to manufacture conventional diesel-electric submarines and only nuclear boats, a senior government official said on Monday that the Indian Navy will be able to build both nuclear and conventional Will operate a mix of submarines. To deal with threats across the country. “For Australia, the threat is greater in the open oceans and the areas around that region. The decision to cancel a conventional submarine deal makes sense for them. Whereas for us, the threats lie near both our coastal regions as well. There is a need to deal with the open sea. That is why the Indian Navy will build a fleet that will include both nuclear as well as conventional submarines,” a senior government official told ANI.

The officials were commenting on the ongoing debate on whether India and other navies should follow suit and go only for building nuclear submarines as they are more capable and stealthy than conventional submarines.

Notably, after scrapping the deal, Australia has joined hands with Americans who will now help Canberra build nuclear attack submarines to counter the main threat from the Chinese Navy.

According to the official, for a country like India, a mix of both types of submarines makes more sense economically and the cost of operating and building nuclear attack submarines is twice the cost of building conventional diesel-electric submarines.

As far as the economics of the project is concerned, the entire project for the construction of six nuclear submarines under the Calvary class (Scorpene) boats for India will come to around Rs 25,000 crore upon completion, while the proposal to build the first three nuclear attack submarines Will be built. The senior official said the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) at its submarine manufacturing facility will cost over Rs 50,000 crore.

Even though the cost difference between nuclear and conventional submarines is substantial, nuclear boats offer a great potential to navies as the boats can remain underwater for months without needing to come out to the surface at regular intervals as by conventional boats. Necessary. to charge their batteries.

The Indian Navy plans to operate 24 new submarines, six of which are of the Calvary class, six to be built under Project 75 Bharat, whose tender has been floated and the proposal to build six nuclear submarines is pending with the Cabinet Committee on Security. Is.

Sources said the final batch of six submarines under the plan would be decided later.

At present, India has a fleet of Russian-origin Kilo class, German-origin HDW and an indigenous ballistic nuclear submarine in the form of ‘INS Arihant’. Five nuclear submarines were planned to be built under the Arihant class project, which is different from the 24 submarine programme.

Worldwide, major navies such as the US, French, British and now Australian have switched to nuclear submarine fleets only, but the Chinese and Russian navies operate a mix of both nuclear and conventional submarines, the official said.

India has been leasing nuclear attack submarines from Russia for the last three decades and is in the process of leasing another submarine from there soon.

(ANI)

First published:October 4, 2021, 6:07 pm

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