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Steel Authority of India Limited’s (SAIL) Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) is playing a critical role in India’s indigenous underwater defence capabilities. The plant is pioneering the development of next-generation steel specifically designed for the S5 class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs).

SAIL-Bhilai’s expertise in high-grade steel is not new. The plant previously developed special steel plates for the prestigious Vikrant-class aircraft carrier program. Now, they’re leveraging this knowledge to create an optimized variant specifically for submarine construction.

The new submarine steel is currently undergoing a comprehensive testing phase. This multi-year process ensures the steel meets the demanding performance requirements for underwater applications. Only after rigorous evaluation will it be cleared for use in constructing the S5 class SSBNs.

While official details remain classified, reports suggest the S5 class submarines will boast a completely new design. With an estimated submerged displacement exceeding 12,000 tons and a length of nearly 150 meters, these SSBNs will be true underwater giants.

The successful development of this specialized steel signifies a significant leap forward in India’s quest for self-reliance in strategic defense materials. The S5 class submarines, constructed using this innovative steel, will bolster India’s underwater deterrence capabilities and solidify its position as a leading maritime power.

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