SOURCE: SUDESH CHARI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Japan’s Super Secretive Soryu Submarine dubbed ” Crown Jewel ” of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force is generating so much Interest in India, even when Japanese themselves have shown little interest in selling them to India. Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar who will be leaving for Tokyo on his first official visit as Defense minister will be discussing with Japanese defense officials about the possible sale of Super Secretive Soryu Submarine.
Indian Navy under Project-75-I has a requirement for 6 Submarines, as per Contract all 6 submarines have to be build in Indian shipyard. countries like France, Russia, Germany and Sweden have expressed their desire to supply and built their Diesel submarines in India for Indian navies requirements under Project-75-I, but Japan has not expressed any interest in possible supply of Soryu Submarines to India and it will be very difficult for India to convince Japan to share Submarine technology .
Super Secret Submarine no easy catch
Soryu uses Technology which has been classified as top secret by Japanese military, while Submarine has been described by many defense experts as world’s best non-nuclear powered submarine. 4200-tonne boat uses Japans latest cutting edge next-generation research which have lead to the development of unique special steel and noise reduction mechanism for the submarine which have made it Best Diesel submarine in Stealth aspect and Japanese are very keen to protect at any cost.
Breakthrough in Battery Technology
Soryu submarines use Lithium-ion propulsion technology for its AIP system which makes them only Submarine active with such technology. Lithium-ion provides significantly longer operation time when compared to Diesel Submarines which come with AIP system but uses conventional batteries as a backup power source.
lithium-ion technology all though is more expensive technology but is breaking through technology in battery which European Submarine makers have failed to develop. Experts say the technology gives Soryu submarines better underwater range and speed compared to other diesel-electric vessels that use air-independent propulsion (AIP).
India will find it difficult to get more information from Japan about submarines, stealth, power and combat system details for fair comparison to be carried out, Japan already as refused to provide similar information to Australia who are also interested in purchase of submarines for their navy and still are in negotiation with them.
Retired Japanese Military commanders have opposed possible sale of Soryu Submarine to Australia or India, Soryu Submarine is considered One of the Key weapons systems which will tilt any possible war in favor of Japan against mighty Chinese navy and officials feel Submarine Secrets have to be protected at any cost even if it means saying No to Key allies.
Cheaper Options will tempt India
According to Industrial experts Each set of lithium-ion batteries for each submarine will cost $ 100 Million and AIP technology could cost $ 500 million each with no scope of integrating DRDO developed AIP Systems in this submarines, making them more expensive then other submarines in offer .
Offer of Cheaper options from Europe and Russia will also tempt India to go for easily available option where there is will for Sale and easy access to transfer of technology of Submarines. India’s depleting Submarine force will also not allow India any length of freedom to pursue Japan for a longer period.
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