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The Indian Navy has confirmed plans to develop 12 conventional diesel submarines under Project-76, aiming for production in Two batches before 2030. This ambitious project will significantly bolster India’s underwater capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Navy continues to explore the development of a 6,000-ton Nuclear Attack Submarine (SSN) program, shrouded in secrecy for now. This future submarine is expected to utilize a next-generation pumpjet propulsor for enhanced stealth and performance.

The Navy’s vision involves building three SSNs domestically, followed by three more. However, acquiring pumpjet technology may require collaboration with a foreign partner.

France has generously offered to share sovereign control and use of its pumpjet technology, but this offer hinges on a commitment to build more than six submarines. This has led the Navy to consider adopting pumpjet technology for both the SSN and Project-76 programs, maximizing its return on investment.

While the specific design of the pumpjet propulsor will need to be tailored to each submarine’s hull, the underlying technology remains the same. Applying pumpjet technology to both the SSN and conventional diesel submarine programs offers substantial economic benefits and technological synergy.

Additionally, incorporating this technology into the 13,000-ton ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) program is also under consideration. This would further strengthen India’s underwater deterrence capabilities.

The pumpjet propulsor offers several advantages, including:

  • Reduced radiated noise: This significantly enhances the submarine’s stealth, making it difficult to detect by enemy sonar.
  • Cavitation avoidance: Pumpjets prevent the formation of cavitation bubbles, which can generate noise and decrease efficiency.
  • Improved hydrodynamic efficiency: This translates to greater fuel efficiency and increased operational range.

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