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According to information obtained by idrw, earlier this year Indian and French MOD officials discussed the possibility of French involvement in India’s Nuclear Attack submarine program as technical consultants. The discussions revolved around the integration of French-developed non-nuclear technologies, such as pump-jet propulsion, into Indian submarines.

Propellers and pump-jets are crucial components of a submarine, with pump-jets offering superior efficiency across most of a submarine’s performance range. These components are also highly sensitive and play a key role in protecting the blade elements they contain.

The Indian Navy has been working to develop pump-jet propulsion technology domestically, but progress has been limited so far. It is expected to take at least a decade or longer for India to develop a pump-jet propulsion system that meets the requirements of the nuclear attack submarine program that was approved in 2016.

India plans to develop three nuclear attack submarines building upon the prior work done for two Arihant class ballistic missile submarines. However, unlike slow-moving SSBNs, nuclear attack submarines need to have fast acceleration speed and on-demand propulsion for covert operations. Two key components, pump-jet propulsion technology and fine-tuned nuclear reactors capable of generating power for short durations, will be required to achieve this.

The Indian Navy is expected to consider incorporating pump-jet propulsion technology into its Conventional Diesel submarine program. The program aims to locally develop 12 submarines in the country, following the completion of Project-75I.

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