Indian Navy to acquire six more submarines

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Mumbai, May 9 : India on Friday said it would soon float a global tender for six conventional submarines and develop a nuclear powered submarine.

"The DRDO is in the process of developing a nuclear powered submarine, codenamed the 'Advanced Technology Vessel', which could either be equipped with conventional or nuclear weapons, Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta told the media after a two-day naval commanders conference here.

"The DRDO project will demonstrate the technology of these (nuclear submarines) and we hope someone will develop the nuclear powered submarine technology for the navy in future," Admiral Mehta added.

He said that the government has activated the process of building six French Scorpene at the Mazgaon Docks here.

"In accordance with the plan to keep a certain number of submarines in the force, we will be acquiring six of one type (Scorpene) and six of another type," Admiral Mehta told the press conference.

"We need to have indigenous capability for building these submarines and Indian Navy has been a strong proponent of indigenous development," he said.

The six additional submarines that the Indian Navy would be looking to acquire would need to be equipped with technology for surface-to-surface missiles to cater to current requirements, Admiral Mehta said.

The Indian Navy presently has 16 submarines in its fleet and is reportedly looking to lease the Akula Class nuclear powered submarines from Russia.

The DRDO project would demonstrate the technology, Admiral Mehta said.

He also gave a clean chit to the INS Jalashwa, the only amphibious vessel in the Navy, in which five sailors had "unfortunately" died after a gas leak.

"The ethos of going to help one's colleague is very strong in the armed forces and that was what led to the incident," he said.

The ship, which is in good condition, is to take part in the Varuna Naval Exercise being held off the eastern coast with French naval ships.

"If there is a need for disaster management in Myanmar, then it can be sent there as well," Admiral Mehta said.

ANI

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