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.

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - Lt Gen­eral (Retd) Naresh Chand

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.

Pro­ject 75-I

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.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: In­dian Navy

INS Chakra of In­dian Navy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.