24 Submarines in 30 Years?
In the last 23 years, the Indian Navy has acquired just two submarines apart from one nuclear-powered submarine leased from Russia. The Indian Navy is likely to issue a RFP for six submarines very soon.
In the last 23 years, the Indian Navy has acquired just two submarines apart from one nuclear-powered submarine leased from Russia.
The INheReNT deSIGN oF submarines provides them stealth, endurance, freedom of movement, flexibility and lethality which give them the advantage of operating at sea, even against a superior enemy. Submarines are the least visible of all naval assets which makes them highly secretive in action providing them the advantage of surprise. They fulfill many different roles like command of the sea which involves sea control, sea denial and maritime projection. They are also being designed to operate in the littorals and induct/de-induct special forces. due to stealth, submarines are able to patrol the worldÕs oceans even in hostile territory to carry out reconnaissance, surveillance and gather intelligence. apart from the sea, they can carry out surveillance on land and air. during war, submarines are crucial in controlling the seas by detecting and destroying hostile submarines and surface ships, carrying out blockade of foreign ports and restrict fleet of the merchant navy. They are able to detect and lay mines more efficiently than any other navy vessel. Submarines provide a means to land special forces in hostile regions, and if armed with suitable weapons, are able to strike land targets. They really run silent and run deep.
The Indian Navy had a strength of about 20 submarines in the 1980s, which included INS Chakra, a nuclear-powered submarine on lease from Russia. Since then the submarine strength has declined to 14 due to obsolescence and lack of fresh inductions. This may further fall to six to eight WLoo 2017, VXeMhFW WR doo UhfiWV dQG dFTXLVLtions are carried as per schedule. The existing boats include four hdW/IKL designed submarines inducted between 1986 and 1994, and 10 Kilo class double-decked boats acquired from Russia between 1986 and 2000. In the last 23 years, the Indian Navy has acquired just two submarines apart from one nuclear-powered submarine again leased from Russia. as it is not weaponised due to MTCR, it is meant more for training and experience before INS arihant is inducted into service.
Indian Navy’s 30-Year Submarine Perspective Plan
In the late 1990s, Naval headquarters started taking stock of their current and future submarine force levels required to counter the developing security environment. The end result was the 30-year Submarine Perspective Plan which was the NavyÕs blueprint for sustainment and augmentation for the present and future submarine force level. The plan, besides many other recommendations, suggested two indigenous production lines for two different designs of submarines. The plan envisaged a gap free transition from the phasing out of the existing Shishumar and Sindhughosh classes of submarines with induction of fresh acquisitions.
during November 2002, the 30-year plan was approved by the Cabinet Commit-
Project 75-I is estimated to cost about $11 billion for six submarines with AIP capability
tee on Security (CCS) and resulted in the birth of Project 75 and Project 75-I, which are two distinct submarine designs, to be built simultaneously. Project 75 was to take shape at the Mazagon dock Ltd (MdL) and for Project 75-I, a suitable public/private shipyard was to be selected. It is understood that the hindustan Shipyard Ltd (hSL), Visakhapatnam, had been selected. hSL is a private shipyard which was nationalised in 1961 and transferred from the Ministry of Shipping to the Ministry of defence (Mod) in 2009. The hSL is in proximity to where INS arihant is being constructed and is also LQYRoYhG LQ WKh UhfiW RI VXePdULQhV. HRZever, hSL has not been able to deliver as WKh UhfiW RI 6LQGKXNULWL ZdV WR eh FRPSohWhG in 2010, but now the likely date of completion is 2015. It is understood that the Indian Navy has already paid more than ` 600 crore for it. Sindhukriti is a Kiloclass submarine RI 5XVVLdQ RULJLQ dQG WKh UhfiW ZdV WR eh jointly done with Rosonboronexport and the Naval dockyard, Visakhapatnam. In any case, Indian shipyards have to relearn submarine building process as the one acquired with hdW was lost due to the shortsighted plugs which will have the same diameter as the submarine but admiral Joshi has indicated that if there are slippages, then they will not wait for the dRdoÕs aIP to fructify. The slippages in delivery has already escalated the cost to about $4.6 billion which is an increase of about 25 per cent from the original cost.
The Indian Navy is likely to come up with a request for proposal (RFP) for Project 75-I soon to avoid the acceptance of necessity (aoN) lapsing for the second time. Project 75-I is estimated to cost about $11 billion for six submarines with aIP capability. The requirement has been pending for some time and it is understood that the defence acquisition Committee cleared it a day before the Indian Navy day during december 2012. Formulation of RFP for a submarine is a complex task, thus it has to be done very deliberately. aIP will increase the submerged operations of the submarine manifold. The FXUUhQW VXePdULQh flhhW LQFoXGLQJ 6FRUShQh do not have aIP capability. MdL may also be hoping to get this project, considering the expertise they are currently acquiring with Project 75 but they are at present overloaded with additional 14 ships. Project 75 had the provision of invoking the option of additional six submarines which would have saved time in procurement and manufacturing processes being a repeat order, but the Project 75-I approach was taken to induct improved technologies and spread out the cost and life span. This approach has caused disruption in industrial processes and will lead to delay. Thus to prevent slippages, WKh JRYhUQPhQW VKRXoG LPSRUW WKh fiUVW two submarines and build the remaining four indigenously, in spite of the immense experience acquired with Scorpene Project. This will also be in the interest of national security. The government must also give a chance to public/private partnership along with contenders like Rosoboronexport (Russia), dCNS/amaris (France), hdW (Germany) and Navantia (Spain). Larsen & Toubro and other Indian shipyards have built/are building suitable infrastructure which should not be allowed to go waste. due to inherent fldZV LQ WKh PdQdJhPhQW SRoLFLhV, d ohJdFy of the socialistic and Ôpermit rajÕ, where labour unions were supreme and the government had to be the ideal employer; it is not possible for the Indian defence shipyards to jumpstart their manufacturing processes and start competing with the europe, USa or South Korea based shipyards.
during 1998, the then Naval Chief had projected an optimum requirement of 24 VXePdULQh flhhW. 2Qh RI WKh SUhYLRXV 1dYdo &KLhIV KdG SURMhFWhG dQ RSWLPLVWLF fiJXUh of inducting 24 submarines in 30 yearsÑ alluding to the 30-year Submarine Perspective Plan. eleven years have gone by since this plan was cleared by the CCS without the induction of a single submarine. The period up to 2017 is very critical as the VXePdULQh flhhW Pdy eh GRZQ WR VLx WR hLJKW obsolete submarines. India needs to have a hard look at its procurement process and remove all obstacles it has created.
INS Chakra of Indian Navy