The Indian Navy has asked the Indian Government to approve a change to its submarine building program by replacing six conventional submarines with nuclear-powered attack submarines.
The Indian Navy (IN) has asked its government to amend the current 30-year naval plan by building six nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarines (SSN’s) instead of some of the planned conventional diesel attack submarines. The new naval plan (which still needs cabinet approval) proposes:
- 18 conventional diesel attack submarines.
- 6 SSNs.
Currently the IN has:
- 12 ageing conventional attack submarines.
- Three new Kalvari class submarines, with three under construction.
Strategic Forces Command also has:
- One Akula class SSN on lease from the Russian Federation.
- One (another due 2021) ballistic missile-firing submarines (SSBN).
SSN’s have some of the following capabilities:
- Able to stay submerged for months.
- Surface only for crew change and logistics.
- Difficult to detect in Indian Ocean equatorial waters due to water temperature differences.
- A deterrent for both sea access and sea denial.
- May 2021 Hindustan Times Navy seeks amendment to 30-year submarine plan, wants six nuclear boats.
- May 2021 Future Directions International While India’s Nuclear Submarine Deterrent Accelerates, Australia’s Remains Unformulated
- Apr 2021 Forbes Nuclear Sub Club: Do Rising Powers Like India Really Need Nuclear Attack Submarines?