Encouraged by the technological leap in the form of Arihant Class SSBNs, Indian Navy is now turning its attention to SSNs, Nuclear Powered Attack Submarines. A potent CBG (Carrier Battle Group), centered around INS Vikramaditya would definitely require escort from an SSN, to protect itself from under-sea threats. Fortunately, Indian Navy has got INS Chakra in its arsenal to escort INS Vikramaditya CBG.
But come 2017, when INS Vikrant II will be sailing with its own CBG, Indian Navy would struggle for a nuclear-powered under-sea escort for this second CBG. One option could be lease of second Akula Class SSN, reportedly another 60% complete hull of an Akula SSN is lying in a Russian shipyard. Other option could be to develop an indigenous SSN with the help of experience gained from the development of Arihant Class SSBNs. French also chose the same path, first developing the SSBNs of Redoutable Class, which was later followed by the development of Rubis Class SSNs.
INS Chakra ( Image Courtesy - ndtv.com )
There has been some clues dropped by defence sources in the recent past about another "black-project" related to development of an indigencous SSN, however, there has been no offical confirmation so far.
A member from the Centre for Policy Alternatives in New Delhi, has recently stated that India is planning to develop a fleet of six SSNs, adding that within seven years the country should have a varied fleet which would, in theory, be able to block Chinese access to the Indian Ocean via the Strait of Malacca. "They could be sitting off Karachi – or China. It's an investment for the future," he pointed out.
News Courtesy - telegraph.co.uk
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