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Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts !! 3 more Scorpene with DRDO AIP – Momentum in P75I – Launching of indigenous Midget submarine by MDL

Source : Indian Defence Analysis

Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts !! 3 more Scorpene with DRDO AIP - Momentum in P75I - Launching of indigenous Midget submarine by MDL
Indian Navy Kalvari class (Scorpene) submarine [File Photo]

Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts !! 3 more Scorpene with DRDO AIP – Momentum in P75I – Launching of indigenous Midget submarine by MDL

There was a time when it almost felt that the submarine building will stall after the last submarine of Kalvari class which has already been launched. However, in last 7 months there has been many positive developments related to India’s submarine building program.

DRDO’s AIP

The sequence of the event started in January 2023 when DRDO’s Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) & French Naval group signed an agreement to certify the DRDO’s AIP design for integration in the submarines. On back of this, On 22nd June 2023, L&T and DRDO has signed a contract for realization of two Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) System Modules for Kalvari Class of Submarines of the Indian Navy.

The first submarine to be retrofitted with DRDO’s AIP is INS Kalvari which will be coming to docks by end of 2024 or early 2025 for the retrofitting. The submarine will undergo what is termed as  of “jumboisation” under which the submarine will be cut, AIP will be integrated safely and it will be joined back. DRDO is set to begin underwater trials of the indigenous fuel-based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system next year.

More powerful Submarine

Besides, upgrading the existing Kalvari class submarine, India is planning to acquire 3 additional submarines. However, these submarines are going to be more powerful and capable then existing Kalvari class submarines. On 6th July 2023, a MoU was signed between MDL & Naval group for 3 additional submarines. India has begun the price negotiation with France and once its complete the contract will be awarded for the same. The three additional Scorpene submarines will also come fitted with the DRDO-developed AIP system to enhance their endurance. The indigenous content in the submarine.

France has also offered two major weapons with the new submarine. These includes Naval Cruise missile & F21 heavy weight torpedo. The Naval cruise missile which is known as MdCN is the upgraded version of SCALP missile having rang over 1000km when launched from submarines. It has a range of 1400km when launched from warship. This missile can be launched from the existing 533mm torpedo tubes with slight modification. The missile weighs 1400kg with warhead of 300kg and maximum speed of 0.8mach.

The French has been reported to offer the F21 is a heavy-weight torpedo developed by DCNS for the French Navy. Weighing 1,550kg, the torpedo carries warhead of 200kg and has maximum speed of 50knots. The F21 shares similarities with the Black Shark torpedo including its electric motor.

MDL indigenous submarine

MDL has also started taking the baby step towards indigenously design and develop the submarine. MDL developing indigenous midget submarine which is being called MS-X02A. On 22nd July, MDL successfully conducted the pressure test of its Midget Submarine Prototype Hull at unique land-based Submarine testing facility developed by MDL. The firm is looking to complete its development by the year 2024. This success of this program will further pave way for MDL towards developing bigger submarine.

Project 75I

The project 75I under which India is planning to build 6 new submarines has also gained momentum in last few months.

On 10th July 2023, Larsen & Toubro and Spanish defence major Navantia inked a ‘teaming agreement’ to jointly bid for the Indian Navy’s Rs 43,000-crore contract for the procurement of six stealth submarines. They will be submitting a techno-commercial bid for the Indian Navy’s prestigious P75 (India) submarine programme.

The firming up of the pact came over a month after German defence major Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and state-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) signed a framework agreement to bid for Project 75(I).

Conclusion

Overall, the progress made by India towards modernization of its conventional submarine seems to be on right track and a lot of development is happening in this area. This will empower Indian Navy with atleast 15 modern conventional submarines equipped with AIP, latest weapons and technologies. Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts Indian Navy submarine plan getting major boosts IgMp

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