SOURCE: SUDESH CHARI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Nuclear-powered submarine on Lease from Russia “INS Chakra ” might be Sole operational Nuclear submarine in Indian Navies fleet in 2015, but Indian government and Indian navy have drafted impressive fleet expansion plan with key focus area been induction of more Nuclear-propelled submarines in next 15 years.
In 1999 Cabinet Committee on Security, (CCS) had approved 30-year submarine-building plan, which envisaged induction of 12 new submarines by 2012, followed by another dozen by 2030. Delays in construction of submarines in Project-75 and delays in getting approvals in setting up Project-75I means original deadline will be missed by a mile and development of Nuclear technology in house means focus too has shifted from acquiring conventional diesel submarines to nuclear powered ones .
Arihant Class (3+2)
INS Arihant India’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine (SSBN) is already conducting Sea trials and will soon be ready for testing of weapons which will include K-15 and K-4 Ballistic missiles and will officially join Indian navy by end of 2016 . Second submarine (INS Aridhaman ) or S-3 is already in advanced stages of fabrication and likely will be launched by year end. Last Submarine dubbed S-4 too is under construction and will be ready by 2018 for Sea Trails. 3 Arihant Sister class of ships will complete first leg of Nuclear triad. There is also strong Indication that 2 more follow-up order of Arihant class ships will be built , 2 Ships will be similar to Arihant but will have improved Weapons systems and will be first Submarine able to carry new class of SLBM which will be K-5 SLBM with range of more then 5000km still under development .
New SSN (6)
Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) last year also cleared construction of 6 new nuclear-powered general-purpose attack submarine (SSN) to be undertaken at the secretive ship-building center (SBC) at Vizag. New SSN Subs will be similar to Arihant class in Size but will be heavy influenced by Akula-2 technology and Indian Navy and DRDO are working closely in studying and improving Stealth aspect of the yet to be constructed submarines. According to Ex Naval officers, Submarine will take 8-9 years before roll out can happen of new submarines and in next two years design will be finalised and a parallel production line will be setup. SSN will be armed with BrahMos-NG which can be Tube-launched and also carry Naval variant of Nirbhay Cruise missiles.
New SSBN (5)
After completion of Arihant Class SSBN, India is committed to further develop bigger next generation SSBN class of submarines which will be able to carry much more Weapons and crew. According to Naval officers, New SSBN will be double the size of Arihant Class submarines and will be able to carry twice the amount of weapons . construction of which will begin in 2023 on wards when last of Arihant class Submarine is delivered to India navy . Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is yet to clear such Proposal, but it will likely happen sometime in next three years.
Second Akula-II-class submarine
Russia has agreed to lease Second K-322 Kashalot aka Akula-II-class submarine which according to reports will be delivered to India by 2018, India already has inducted INS Chakra-II in 2012 and this will be Second Nuclear submarine leased from Russia .
New Core Reactor
BARC has started working on New high powered Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) according to BARC Scientist new reactor will be 50% more powerful than 83 MW reactor used on Arihant. BARC want to use it on larger SSBN which will be follow-up on Arihant class and which will require more power since it will bigger platform. Navy also wants bigger PWR for New SSN class of submarines which according to navy requirements will see 100% jump in additional power requirements compared to one used in Arihant class. BARC still not clarified which Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are in development or different Parallel development are been carried out of PWR for SSBN and SSN.
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