SOURCE: DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
In the first phase, Australia will purchase three to five Virginia-class nuclear submarines from the United States, and in the second phase, it will purchase a second line of AUKUS-class submarines based on UK designs and US technology, to be built beginning in the mid-to-late 2030s, with at least some of the construction taking place at the Osborne shipyards in Adelaide.
The United Kingdom and the United States will not only sell Virginia-class nuclear submarines to Australia, but will also supply key nuclear technology, such as nuclear reactors, to Australia for local production of the submarines.
In 2019, India signed a $3 billion contract with Russia for the lease of an Akula-1 class submarine, dubbed the Chakra III nuclear submarine, which will arrive in India by 2025 with induction in 2026. With the ongoing war and the fallout from Russian economic sanctions, it is unclear whether India has been able to make payments for the submarine and the progress of Russia’s refurbishment work.
However, with China’s growing naval presence and delays in its own nuclear submarine project, India has planned to acquire a second SSN, allowing the navy to operate two independent carrier battle groups, each with one SSN, centered on the INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.
India, which has a critical role to play in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese activities in the region, has remained silent on the AUKUS development, and since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, it has been less vocal about the deal in order to avoid drawing too much attention to its own deal with Russia.
India is leasing Akula Class submarines from Russia to advance its own Nuclear attack submarine programme, but Western hypocrisy knows no bounds, and this could be interpreted as India’s efforts to fund the war in Western media while they rush to sell nuclear submarines to a country that is less likely to go to war with China than India and has no history of conflicts with China.
The Indian PMO, with the assistance of NSA Ajit Doval, has been able to keep the Indian Nuclear submarine programme out of the spotlight. However, leasing of Russian Akula class submarines and another two that are in the pipeline will play a critical role in the development of the local nuclear attack submarine programme as well as the larger ballistic missile submarine that are all set to go on the market.
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