SOURCE: MANJUNATH REDDY/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India’s longest-delayed defense projects ” Project-75I” to construct six Next-Generation conventional submarines for $10 billion is finally gathering pace after offers from countries like France, Russia, Sweden, and Germany was received by India and are being currently being evaluated by a high-level technical committee of Indian Navy and Government officials which will then identify Submarine which meets the requirement and also later the L1 ( Cheapest Vendor ) before negotiations for final contract is held with the winner .
With Winner likely to be announced in next few months, Russia’s Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau officials have offered their services towards India’s ambitious project to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines in lieu of securing orders for its Amur-1650 Non-nuclear submarine under India’s ” Project-75I”.
French “Naval Group” makers of six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines of Indian Navy already have offered all non-nuclear design and developmental assistance to India to develop next-generation Nuclear-class Attack Submarine for the Indian Navy locally. It is unclear what Russia’s Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau brings to the table but all service assistance offer as per Rosoboronexport has been officially communicated with the Indian Government and is highly hopeful that a stretched Amur 1650 -class submarine with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) will win the order.
Russians shipyards and experts in past have closely worked with India as the consultants to develop Arihant’s 83Mw pressurised water reactor (PWR) with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and also helped them miniaturising the reactor to fit into the 10m diameter hull of the nuclear submarine. But other assistance from Russia on the project largely remains state-guarded secret, nobody also actually knows what kind of assistance India could like from Russia or France to develop its next-generation Nuclear-class Attack Submarines which are still in design stages.
According to Rubin Design Bureau, an Amur-1650 class submarine will come equipped with 10-12 Submarine launch variant of Indo-Russian BrahMos Cruise missile in Vertical Launch System (VLS) configuration and the later additions ( BrahMos-NG) can be adapted for firing from Six Torpedo tubes of 533-mm caliber fitted on Amur-1650.
Amur-1650 will come equipped with next-gen sonar Lira which will surpass previous sonars used on Kilo-class conventional submarines. Russians are pitching for jointly developed Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system taking best of Russian and Indian technology for Amur-1650 and also have said that indigenization level of an Amur-1650-Class submarine in India will be 80 percent, way over then what French and Germans have proposed.