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China, Pakistan Bonhomie Forces India to Rethink Its Nuclear Submarine Plan

© AFP 2023 / STRIndian Navy personnel stand on an Indian Navy submarine during the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam on February 6, 2016
Indian Navy personnel stand on an Indian Navy submarine during the International Fleet Review in Visakhapatnam on February 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
India may be planning to induct more submarines due to hectic activity on this front by China and Pakistan. More clarity will emerge after its finalizes some key aspects of its new purchase policy.

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New Delhi (Sputnik) — India may revise its plans to induct submarines to counter the growing influence of China in Indian Ocean Region. The original blueprint envisages 24 submarines by the year 2030 but the Indian Defense Minister feels a rethinking is in order.

"We need to rethink about the real requirement based on our projection… We also need to retain the skilled manpower and skills by more construction of submarines," said the Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Indian had approved a 30-year submarine construction for building 24 conventional submarines. Even this project has not found favor with Parrikar. “Indigenization in Scorpenes is not up to the mark but in the Advanced Technology Vessel [nuclear-powered submarine] program, it is over 70 per cent,” he said.

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India will announce a second project for submarines after preparing the guidelines for the ‘strategic partnership’ model under the Defense Procurement Procedure 2016. In other words, the next lot of submarines will be manufactured in joint partnership between an Indian company and an overseas partner.

Indian Navy has 14 submarines and plans to lease a second nuclear submarine from Russia for around 10 years at a cost of $ 1.5-2 billion.

In contrast, despite a shorter coast to defend, Pakistan is adding eight Chinese made conventional submarines to its existing fleet of five submarines. China inducted a dozen Russian submarines and hopes to field 78 subs by the year 2020. China is refurbishing two of its own submarines that will be transferred to Bangladesh next year.

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