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Thread: India To Purchase 3 More French ‘Scorpene’ Submarines

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    Aug 2013
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    India To Purchase 3 More French ‘Scorpene’ Submarines

    With neighbouring China and Pakistan strengthening their fleets, India, too, plans to replace its ageing underwater combat arm.

    The Narendra Modi government recently said that it would soon purchase three more ‘Scorpene’ submarines from France to bolster India’s naval power. India has already ordered six such submarines that are constructed at Mazagon Docks. Now, the government plans to issue a tender for six new-generation stealth submarines by 2016.

    Indian Navy Chief Admiral Robin Dhowan has said that the main aim of the proposed move is to effectively counter China’s strategic moves in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). He also said that India currently has only 13 ageing conventional diesel-electric submarines, 10 of which are more than 25-year-old, and one SSN on lease from Russia. According to the Navy chief, the Russian submarine is not armed with nuclear missiles in accordance with international treaties.

    On the contrary, China has 51 conventional and five nuclear submarines. The Asian giant also plans to induct another five JIN-class SSBNs with the 7,400-km range JL-2 missiles. Pakistan, too, has ordered eight more advanced diesel-electric submarines from China. “Collaboration between Pakistan and China is nothing new, nor is their development of Gwadar port. The geo-strategic environment keeps on changing. We take note of the developments and factor them into our own plans,” stressed Admiral Dhowan.

    Asked about India’s plans to counter its two nuclear-powerful neighbours, the Navy chief said that Indian Navy should be a multi-dimensional, networked force. According to him, the Indian Navy is also combat-ready and it can take on any challenge in the IOR at any time. Admiral Dhowan claimed that the Navy has the ability to safeguard India’s maritime interests from the Western Pacific in the east to the North Atlantic in the west.

    Admiral Dhowan further claimed that with existing 138 warships, including two aircraft carriers, 48 major warships and 14 submarines, as well as 240 aircraft, helicopters and drones, the Navy could act as net security provider in the IOR and counter China’s increasing strategic footprint in the region.
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