SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
SOV-400, a new submarine design from Larsen & Toubro has a submerged displacement of 550 tons and can be armed with two 533mm heavyweight torpedoes carried externally will be getting some major upgrades to its capabilities that will include a new Lithium-ion battery pack to make it much more lethal and now plans to promote the Midget submarine at the export market.
idrw.org was told by L&T officials at the recently concluded Def Expo 2022 that the Indian Navy has not shown much interest in the program, even though the Indian Navy wanted two midget submarines initially and 3 at later stages to strengthen its underwater capability for covert operations and surveillance missions in shallow waters by the Marine commandos but SOV-400 doesn’t seem to fit the bill.
While the Indian Navy planned to procure Midget submarines first in 2009, It is still mum on its requirements, and large submerged displacement seems to be the issue ( fixation on 150T), and the emergence of low-cost options like autonomous Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs) that could carry two lightweight torpedoes, lay mines and can carry payloads for coastal surveillance for fraction of the cost are emerging as alternatives.
idrw.org was told by the L&T officials that it has no plans to develop any Prototype due to the high cost that is required for its manufacturing without getting backing from the Indian Navy. L&T will continue to work on improving its design and capabilities to attract buyers from Export Market.
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