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Rs. 50 Thousand Crore Plan for Warships Cleared
Feb 21, 2015

Just months after ordering new submarines to close the gap with the Chinese navy in the Indian Ocean, the government has cleared an 8 billion dollar (Rs 50 thousand crore) plan to build India's most advanced warships.

  • For building a formidable blue-water Navy for the future the indigenous construction of 7 stealth frigates and 6 nuclear-powered attack submarines are approved.

  • Under the over Rs 50,000 crore Project-17A for stealth frigates, 4 will be constructed at Mazagon Docks Limited in Mumbai and 3 in Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata.

  • Both the defence shipyards are already geared up for the project because it's a ‘followon’ to the three 6,100-tonne stealth frigates built by MDL, INS Shivalik, INS Satpura and INS Sahyadari, which were inducted in 2010-2012. 

  • The new multi-mission frigates will be larger, faster and stealthier than the earlier ones, as well as packed with more weapons and sensors to operate in a multi-threat environment. 

  • It could take at least a decade to build all the 7 frigates. 

  • The complex project for the Nuclear-powered Submarines (SSNs) will take longer. After the CCS approval, technical parameters or naval staff qualitative requirements (NSQRs) will now be drafted for the over 6,000 tonne submarines. 

  • The SSNs are likely to be constructed at the secretive ship-building centre (SBC) in Vizag, where India's first three SSBNs (nuclear-powered submarines with nuclear ballistic missiles) are being built to complete the country's nuclear weapons triad. 

  • Nuclear-powered submarines are much deadlier than diesel-electric submarines since they do not need to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries. 

  • SSNs, which usually carry only conventional missiles, can swiftly and quietly undertake long-range patrols. They can run at high speeds like 30 knots for much longer distances, hunting for targets and gathering intelligence.

  • The Indian Navy's undersea defences are down to 13 ageing diesel-electric submarines, after a string of accidents.

  • In October 2014, the government approved fast-tracking the tender process to build 6 submarines in collaboration with a foreign builder.

All Navy modernization programmes are running way behind schedule and with a huge amount of cost over-runs.


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