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In a significant development, the Indian Navy is set to expand its submarine fleet with the procurement of three additional Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarines. The contract for these submarines is expected to be finalized by the end of 2024, with the first submarine likely to be delivered by 2031. This crucial step comes after the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement was granted by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on July 13, paving the way for the commencement of the procurement process.

The Scorpène-class submarines have already proven their mettle, as the Indian Navy currently operates six Kalvari-class submarines, which are a part of the Scorpène-class family. The decision to acquire three more submarines of the same class is a testament to their performance and capabilities.

The new Kalvari-class submarines are expected to be equipped with the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) developed Fuel-Cell Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system from the very outset. The inclusion of this advanced technology will significantly enhance the submarines’ operational endurance and stealth capabilities, making them formidable assets for the Indian Navy’s underwater fleet.

While the Kalvari-class submarines are renowned for their cutting-edge capabilities, it is anticipated that the cost of these new submarines will be higher than the initial ones procured under a $3.75 billion deal signed in October 2005. The earlier submarines were manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) under technology transfer, a crucial step in India’s pursuit of indigenous submarine manufacturing capabilities.

The expansion of the submarine fleet is a critical step towards enhancing India’s maritime security and strengthening its naval capabilities. Submarines play a vital role in modern naval warfare, providing strategic advantages in intelligence gathering, surveillance, and deterrence.

As India seeks to safeguard its maritime interests and protect its vast coastline, a robust submarine fleet becomes imperative. The new Kalvari-class submarines, equipped with advanced AIP systems, will offer a considerable edge in stealth operations and extended underwater endurance, enabling the Indian Navy to maintain a formidable presence in the Indian Ocean region.

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