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India’s state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and the Indian Navy have initiated the design work for a new class of Hunter Killer SSK (Diesel-Electric) submarines. The detailed engineering design is expected to be completed by 2028, with construction on the submarines projected to commence from 2032 onwards.

The upcoming submarine will be based on the technology obtained from the Kalvari Class submarines while incorporating approximately 70% indigenous technologies. It will undergo significant upgrades to its propulsion system, batteries, sonar systems, navigation system, communication systems, weapons systems, life support systems, and fire control systems.

With a submerged displacement of less than 3000 tons, the SSK submarine will be equipped with an Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system and Vertical Launch System (VLS) modules. The inclusion of vertical launchers will enable the submarine to carry out salvo attacks with cruise missiles against land targets.

The versatility of this multi-role watercraft will allow it to be deployed in various mission profiles, including anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air warfare (AAW), land attack, and special forces operations.

The SSK submarine will also feature unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) that can gather intelligence and return to the mother ship. Power for the submarine will be derived from a diesel-electric power plant, complemented by an AIP system. The AIP system will incorporate second-generation fuel cells, enhancing the submarine’s endurance underwater.

With the timeline set for the construction of these submarines, India is poised to strengthen its naval fleet and expand its operational capabilities in the coming years. The Hunter Killer SSK submarines will serve as a testament to India’s technological prowess and its determination to achieve self-reliance in defence production, elevating the country’s standing in the global defence industry.

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