Astute-class submarine

Warship Design Bureau (WDB), India’s nodal design agency when it comes to warships and submarines is in charge of India’s 1st gen Nuclear Attack submarine program and one of the technologies it wants to incorporate is the Pumpjet propulsion technology that comes with unique advantages of its own but is also costlier and more complex than a traditional propeller.

While the final configuration of India’s Nuclear Attack submarine program is yet to be finalized, the Navy and WDB have started testing small-scale models of the Pumpjet propulsion technology for research and development purposes that might eventually lead to manufacturing of the full-scale Pumpjet propulsion for the submarines.

Pump-jets technology is itself a fascinating mix of material science, mechanical engineering, and hydrodynamics, India will need to do a lot more in research and development before it can develop one on its own and it seems the French have been watching the Indian SSN program closely and has offered to share its Pump-jets technology with Transfer of Technology if India procures their submarines under Project-75I.

British Astute-class SSN, upcoming American Columbia-class SSN submarine, and French Barracuda-class SSN submarine are all fitted with pump-jet propulsion that allows for higher speeds without noisy cavitation. pump-jet propulsion is becoming the most widely used propulsion technology for nuclear attack submarines than for the smaller conventional attack submarines due to its weight and its massive power requirements. Indian Navy also is fixated on having pump-jet propulsion for its SSN program but the tech is much more complex and will require much more investment to develop locally.

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