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  • Writer's pictureAman Sri

India prepares to build 12 more conventional submarines!

The Indian Navy has revealed ambitious plans for a substantial expansion of its submarine capabilities. Under Project-76, the Navy aims to develop 12 conventional diesel submarines, scheduled for production in two batches before 2030, representing a significant augmentation of India's underwater capabilities.

In parallel, the Navy is silently working on a 6,000-ton Nuclear Attack Submarine (SSN) program, leveraging next-gen pumpjet propulsor technology for heightened stealth and performance. The plan involves the domestic construction of three SSNs initially, with a prospect for three more in subsequent phases.

Central to this development is the consideration of pumpjet technology. France has proposed sharing its advanced pumpjet technology, renowned for its superior stealth attributes, contingent on India committing to constructing more than six submarines. To maximize returns on investment, the Navy is contemplating integrating pumpjet technology not only into the SSN program but also into the Project-76 initiative. While specific designs may vary, the core pumpjet technology remains consistent across applications.

Pumpjet propulsors offer distinct advantages, including a significant reduction in radiated noise, enhancing submarine stealth by making it challenging for enemy sonar to detect. Additionally, these propulsors prevent cavitation, the formation of bubbles that generate noise and reduce efficiency. Furthermore, they contribute to improved hydrodynamic efficiency, leading to greater fuel efficiency and an increased operational range.

Beyond the immediate plans, there is ongoing consideration of incorporating pumpjet technology into the 13,000-ton ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) program, further fortifying India's underwater deterrence capabilities.

This strategic move underscores India's commitment to advancing its naval capabilities through a comprehensive approach, encompassing both conventional and nuclear submarines. The exploration of cutting-edge technologies, coupled with potential collaboration with France, reflects the nation's dedication to bolstering indigenous defense capabilities through strategic international partnerships.

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