HomeIndian Navy SSN ProjectPM Modi's France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines...

PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy

Source : Indian Defence Analysis

PM Modi's France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy

PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy

The Indian Navy currently operates, 16 diesel attack conventional Submarines which includes: 5 Kalvari or scorpene class, 7 Sindhughosh or Kilo class and 4 Shishumar or Type 209 class of submarines. By 2023 one more Kalvari class submarine will add to Indian Navy’s fleet. However, the majority of submarines operated by Navy to be precise 11 out of 17 are crossing 2 decades of service. At the same time India does not have any nuclear attack submarine SSK. Indian Navy has to rely on its conventional submarines to hunt down Chinese Nuclear submarines. The plan to lease INS Chakra-II also seems to be in grim due to the heavy sanctions imposed on Russia. Indian Navy’s capability to patrol, deter & keep the Chinese underwater presence checked is limited.

At the same time, China is equipping Pakistan with 8 new Hangor class submarines slated to enter service by 2028. Additional of these submarines will take the total count of Pakistan Navy’s submarines to 12.

The aging submarine fleet of Indian Navy, China’s rising presence in the Indian Ocean & Pakistan’s rapidly modernizing submarine fleet are the three major challenges before India.

Why India needs to collaborate with France?

The best option for India in the present Geo-political scenario is to accelerate its nuclear attack submarine program with the assistance from France.  Multiple reports have indicated the French willingness to deepen ties with India which further gained momentum post AUKUS deal.

Stung by the financial loss of the Australian contract and perceived backstabbing by its American ally, France is in a strong position to leverage its own nuclear submarine technology.  In March 2023, France made an offer to India to jointly develop nuclear submarines.

In March 2023, the Hindustan Times also reported that India is looking to upgrade its submarine fleet with three nuclear-powered conventional weapon-armed submarines in collaboration with France on lines of the latest 4765-ton Barracuda class.

The offer of Barracuda class submarine has been on table for discussion in December 2021, during the French Defense minister Florence Parly meeting with her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh.

All eyes on PM’s upcoming France visit

As per the report from The Tribune India: “PRIME Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming trip to France to attend the Bastille Day parade as its chief guest is, much like his recent US visit, widely expected to result in the announcement of some critical deals for the Indian Navy. There is widespread speculation in domestic and overseas military and security circles that PM Modi was invited for the celebratory July 14 event in Paris in anticipation of the two sides proclaiming government-to-government (G2G) defence contracts that have long been under negotiation.

These included the procurement of 26 Dassault Rafale-Maritime (M) fighters and at least three add-on Scorpene-class diesel-electric ‘killer-hunter’ conventional submarines or SSKs to supplement six similar boats. The Paris visit could also result in India agreeing to France’s involvement, via a technology transfer to indigenously build six nuclear-powered attack submarines or SSNs at the secretive Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam.”

France has expressed its willingness to partner with DRDO, Department of Atomic Energy, Indian Navy and related organisations in locally building six SSNs. The Navy’s SSN project was initially approved by the government in early 2015, with the first such 6,000-tonne boats scheduled for completion by 2032-33.

India’s quest for SSNs as its core weapon to hunt ballistic missile submarines will only be fulfilled with external assistance. France can not only help India to build its first nuclear-powered attack submarine but can further assist the S5 ballistic missile submarine program with its propulsion technology.

These projects are going to be a long-term development effort. If the deal is finalized the first vessel may take between 10-15 years to come on board with Indian NavyPM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy PM Modi’s France visit may initiate Indo-French collaboration on Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) for the Indian Navy IgMp

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