Submarines in India – UPSC GS3

What is Submarine?
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation underwater. Their main cover is their ability to move stealthily under water and keep an eye on enemy movement of vessels.
How many submarines does India have?
Currently, India has 15 conventional diesel-electric submarines classified as SSKs and one nuclear ballistic submarine, classified as SSBN.
  • About Conventional diesel-electric submarines classified as SSKs: Among the SSKs:
    • Four are Shishumar Class, which were bought and then built in India in collaboration with the Germans
    • Eight are Kilo Class or Sindhughosh Class bought from Russia (including erstwhile USSR)
    • Three are Kalvari Class Scorpene submarines built at India’s Mazagon Dock in partnership with France’s Naval Group, earlier called DCNS.
  • About Nuclear ballistic submarine classified as SSBN:
    • INS Arihant is a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine built indigenously.
    • INS Arighat, an upgraded version of Arihant is likely to be commissioned within the next few months.
Projects for Submarines
  • The 30-year plan (2000-30) for indigenous submarine construction was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999.
  • The plan envisages two production lines of six submarines each built in India in partnership with a foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer(OEM). The projects were called P-75 and P-75I.
  • P-75 has delivered three Kalvari Class Scorpene submarines so far. P-75I is yet to take off.
How many submarines does China have?
According to a 2020 report by the Pentagon, China currently operates four SSBNs. It has six SSNs(nuclear-powered attack submarines) and 50 diesel-powered attack submarines(SSs).
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