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Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has recently showcased a potentially game-changing submarine design to a select group of Indian media representatives. This offering caters to the Indian Navy’s P-75I program, aiming to bolster its underwater fleet.

The proposed submarine boasts a radical new concept: “Stealth Shaping.” This involves angled sides on the exterior, which, according to TKMS, significantly reduces the submarine’s acoustic signature. This translates to a lower probability of detection by active sonar, a crucial advantage in modern submarine warfare.

While the concept itself isn’t entirely new, it draws inspiration from the Type-212CD submarines currently under development for the German and Norwegian navies. This proven platform is designed for superior stealth compared to traditional rounded hull designs. Naval experts point out that rounded hulls, while offering advantages in active maneuvering tactics, are not ideal from a stealth standpoint. They tend to create multiple echo returns when pinged by active sonar, revealing the submarine’s location.

Traditionally, passive sonar has reigned supreme in submarine detection. This method relies on listening for sounds emitted by the submarine itself. However, with advancements in technology, submarines have become considerably quieter, rendering passive sonar less effective. As a result, the ability to evade active sonar detection has become a paramount factor in modern submarine warfare. Active sonar transmits sound waves and interprets the echoes to locate submerged objects.

TKMS’s proposal highlights the growing importance of active sonar countermeasures. A submarine with a low acoustic signature, achieved through features like angled hulls, offers a significant tactical advantage. By incorporating these elements, TKMS aims to provide the Indian Navy with a submarine that can operate undetected in contested waters.

The unveiling of this design marks a significant step forward in the P-75I program. The Indian Navy will meticulously evaluate proposals from various contenders, with factors like stealth, firepower, sensor suite, and life-cycle costs playing a crucial role in the final decision.

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