Indian Navy seeks nuclear-powered subs

May 9th, 2008 - 8:20 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 9 (IANS) The Indian Navy, besides eyeing nuclear-powered submarines, will soon be inducting six new submarines to become a true “blue water navy”, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta said Friday. “As per the long term perspective plan of the Indian Navy, presently 34 ships are under construction at different shipyards of the country and six submarines would be inducted soon,” Mehta told reporters at the end of the three-day Naval Commanders’ Conference here.

The Navy will soon be floating tenders for six submarines, apart from the six French Scorpene subs being built indigenously.

Mehta said the Indian Navy essentially required three aircraft carriers and nuclear- powered submarines to strengthen its fleet strength and to ensure operational capability.

The nuclear-powered submarines could be equipped with conventional or nuclear weapons, he added.

Indian Navy currently maintains a fleet of 16 submarines and is planning to acquire a nuclear-powered submarine from Russia.

Presently, the only aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy ‘INS Viraat’ is undergoing a refit and is non-operational. The ship is being readied as a stop-gap arrangement till ‘INS Vikramaditya’ - formerly ‘Gorshkov’ purchased from Russia - is inducted into the Indian Navy.

The Naval Commanders’ Conference, the highest decision-making body of the Indian Navy, commenced May 7.

The annual conference deliberated upon major operational issues with regard to the defence of the nation’s maritime interests, coastal security, defence of national assets at sea, naval strategy, its own operational and acquisition plans and the course corrections required to remain relevant with the times as also to maintain synergy with the other two services.

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