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In a significant move towards self-reliance in strategic defence capabilities, India embarked on an ambitious project in February 2015: the indigenous construction of six nuclear-powered attack submarines. This program, known as Project 75 Alpha, marks a major milestone for India’s underwater warfare capabilities.

Collaborating with esteemed partners such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and the Indian Navy, India’s endeavor aims to realize the development of a formidable 6000-ton displacement submarine. Endowed with cutting-edge technology and a versatile arsenal, these nuclear attack submarines are poised to redefine undersea warfare capabilities.

The envisaged capabilities of these submarines encompass a comprehensive spectrum of undersea operations, ranging from Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface warfare (ASuW) to Strike missions, Special Operating Forces (SOF) deployment, Mine warfare, Subsea Seabed Warfare (SSW), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), and beyond.

Integral to the operational efficacy of these submarines is the incorporation of advanced targeting systems, facilitated by platforms such as patrol aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This seamless integration enhances the submarines’ situational awareness and precision strike capabilities, bolstering India’s strategic advantage in contested maritime environments.

Central to the program’s success is the adoption of cutting-edge propulsion technology, with India’s Navy expressing keen interest in Pumpjet propulsion systems pioneered by France. While deliberations continue regarding the procurement of propulsion systems, India remains poised to either develop indigenous solutions or collaborate with international partners to acquire state-of-the-art technology.

Looking ahead, the program outlines a definitive roadmap for the next phase of development. Over the next two years, meticulous design configurations will be finalized, laying the groundwork for the commencement of manufacturing activities within the subsequent five years.

The success of this program will be a major milestone for India’s defence capabilities. These nuclear-powered attack submarines will significantly enhance the Indian Navy’s underwater deterrence and power projection capabilities, promoting regional stability and furthering India’s strategic ambitions.

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