- HEMANT GAUR
India has kick-started an ambitious project to build six nuclear-powered attack submarines SSNs that is expected to boost the Navy’s overall strike capabilities in the face of China’s naval build-up and increasing military manoeuvring in the Indo-Pacific region.
Confirming the launch of the mega-project, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba also gave a clear indication that Indian Navy was ready to play a bigger role including under the proposed quadrilateral coalition among India, the US, Australia and Japan.
“It has kicked off and I will leave it at that. It is a classified project. The process has started. I will not comment further,” Admiral Lanba said, replying to a question on the project.
These will be designed by the Navy’s in-house Directorate of Naval Design and indigenously built in the Shipbuilding Center at Visakhapatnam. Expertise gained in the construction of the Arihant Class SSNs will be transferred to the SSN project.
All six submarines are expected to be constructed in India under Make in India Program.
The submarines will be powered by a miniature Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) being developed by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre which has already supplied a similar 83 MW miniature reactor for the Arihant-class Submarines SSNs.