Indian Nuclear Attack Submarines (SSN) - Updates & Discussions

Bon Plan

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Dec 1, 2017
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From Indian Navy's official website:

russian SSN always look nice.
 

Himanshu

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Negotiations on lease of Russian nuclear submarine deadlocked over price issues

HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Russian side was asking for over $2.5 bn for a 5-year refit and refurbishment of Akula-class SSN
  • The last round of talks between Russian delegation and the Indian Navy failed to resolve the price deadlock
  • The negotiations are being steered by the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's office
Negotiations for the acquisition of an Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) from Russia are currently dead locked on price issues.

This is one of the reasons an agreement could not be concluded before the October 5 summit meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Sources said that the Russian side was asking for a price of over $2.5 billion for a five-year refit and refurbishment of a Russian navy Akula-class SSN.

The last round of talks between a Russian delegation and the Indian Navy between September 24 and 28 in New Delhi, failed to resolve the price deadlock. The negotiations are being steered by the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's office.

The Akula-class SSN dubbed the 'Chakra-3' to replace the INS Chakra whose ten year lease from Russia runs out in 2022. India paid for an estimated $1 billion refit and lease of this submarine which was completed in 2008 and handed over to the navy in 2011. One of the reasons for the current deadlock is the Russian side asking over double the cost of the earlier lease.

The submarine is part of a $10 billion arms package, including helicopters, frigates and an assault rifle production line that India is negotiating with Russia.

India and Russia inked a $5 billion agreement for five S-400 air defence missile systems on October 5. The missiles are to be delivered in the next two years.

The Chakra was only recently returned to service after a 2017 accident.

India first leased an SSN, also called the Chakra from the former Soviet Union on a three-year lease between 1987 and 1991.

The Russian submarines are being leased to train crews for India's fleet of ballistic missile firing submarines (SSBNs) India's first indigenously built SSBN, the INS Arihant entered service in 2016.

A second, the INS Arighat was launched in 2017 and is expected to enter service soon. Two more SSBNs are under construction at the Shipbuilding Centre in Vizag.
 

randomradio

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Nov 30, 2017
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Time to use the offsets of Rafale to get our own Nuke sub program going. Dump these Russians.

We unfortunately still need this second sub until we get enough operational subs of our own.

Anyway, we have to give a submarine or LHD contract to DCNS if we want submarine related offsets. Rafale has nothing to do with DCNS.
 

Bon Plan

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What is Arihant submarine program? Why does India need Akula on lease?
Arihant is a deterence sub. The easier to study and built (except missiles), because bigger (easier to put all in) and slow moving (easier to reduce noise)
Akula is a SSN. More difficult to study.

And not the same use.
 

advaidhya

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Aug 2, 2018
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Arihant is a deterence sub. The easier to study and built (except missiles), because bigger (easier to put all in) and slow moving (easier to reduce noise)
Akula is a SSN. More difficult to study.

And not the same use.
I have repeatedly told that the choice of 750km missile for Arihant makes it very implausible for it to be simply SSBN. It also has enough power to move at over 50kmph which is good enough for SSN. Arihant could well be SSN with missile launch capabilities as in the case of USA SSN launching tomahawk missiles. The 750km missile makes it more likely to be that
 

Arvind

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I have repeatedly told that the choice of 750km missile for Arihant makes it very implausible for it to be simply SSBN. It also has enough power to move at over 50kmph which is good enough for SSN. Arihant could well be SSN with missile launch capabilities as in the case of USA SSN launching tomahawk missiles. The 750km missile makes it more likely to be that

And what capped the range to 750 if not the non availability of higher range tested platforms?

What the displacement of akula and arihant says?
 

Bon Plan

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I have repeatedly told that the choice of 750km missile for Arihant makes it very implausible for it to be simply SSBN. It also has enough power to move at over 50kmph which is good enough for SSN. Arihant could well be SSN with missile launch capabilities as in the case of USA SSN launching tomahawk missiles. The 750km missile makes it more likely to be that
It's a big ship for a SSN.
But I agree to your explanantion : it's possible.
 

advaidhya

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Aug 2, 2018
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And what capped the range to 750 if not the non availability of higher range tested platforms?

What the displacement of akula and arihant says?
India has missiles like Agni-3 which was said to have been weighing at 23tons after reduction of 8ton weight in 2013. Agni-5 is also available to India. The technology of submarine launched missile is also available. There is nothing that stops India from getting at least 3000km missile into Arihant if India really wants.

By the way, Akula has 25% larger width (beam) (13.6m vs 11m) and similar dimensions in length and height (draft). Akula also weighs about 30% more than Arihant. Considering that Akula is SSN, Arihant being smaller than Akula but still being SSBN is suspect.
 

sid4587

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Jan 10, 2018
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I have repeatedly told that the choice of 750km missile for Arihant makes it very implausible for it to be simply SSBN. It also has enough power to move at over 50kmph which is good enough for SSN. Arihant could well be SSN with missile launch capabilities as in the case of USA SSN launching tomahawk missiles. The 750km missile makes it more likely to be that
may be for less acoustic signature one need a different design, SSN must possess stealth feature
 

Ashwin

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Indian Navy Chief in Russia to Explore Co-op in Nuke Submarine Construction

Admiral Sunil Lanba is scheduled to visit the Nakhimov Naval School and Admiralty Shipyard that is building Lada-class submarines of project 677. The non-nuclear Amur-1650 submarine - an export option of the Lada-class submarine - is one of the contenders in India’s project p75I for six non-nuclear submarines for the Indian Navy.

India and Russia are exploring newer avenues for defence cooperation. In this connection, Chief of the Indian Navy Admiral Sunil Lanba is currently on a four-day visit of Russia starting Monday. On the first day of his visit, Lanba is holding bilateral discussions with his counterpart, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, commander-in-chief of the Russian Federation Navy (RuFN).

"At Moscow, the Admiral will have discussions with General VV Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff and First Deputy Defence Minister of the Russian Federation and Mr. Dmitriy Shugaev, Director, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) of the Russian Federation," the Indian Navy's statement read.

The Indian Navy's statement indicates that the two countries remain undeterred by US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and is likely to soon clear pending deals in the maritime domain.



Earlier this year on July 6, Sputnik reported that India and Russia had started discussions on joint construction and development of a nuclear submarine at a very cost effective rate at an Indian shipyard. Going by the proposal, the two countries intend to develop a prototype for under $200 million following which the Russian firm would transfer the technical know-how and related documents to the Indian shipyard.

Only last week, India and Russia concluded a $1.5 billion guided missile frigate deal under which two 3,620-ton Admiral Grigorovich-class vessels will be purchased off the shelf by India while two other frigates will be built at a state-owned shipyard in Goa, southern India. India has so far leased two nuclear-propelled submarines from Russia, including the Chakra, which is currently in service.

Admiral Lanba will also visit the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and will deliver a talk on the "Indian Navy's Perspective on Maritime Security." He will also lay a wreath at Piskarev Memorial Cemetery in memory of the victims of the Siege of Leningrad.
 
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sid4587

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Jan 10, 2018
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Indian Navy Chief in Russia to Explore Co-op in Nuke Submarine Construction

Admiral Sunil Lanba is scheduled to visit the Nakhimov Naval School and Admiralty Shipyard that is building Lada-class submarines of project 677. The non-nuclear Amur-1650 submarine - an export option of the Lada-class submarine - is one of the contenders in India’s project p75I for six non-nuclear submarines for the Indian Navy.

India and Russia are exploring newer avenues for defence cooperation. In this connection, Chief of the Indian Navy Admiral Sunil Lanba is currently on a four-day visit of Russia starting Monday. On the first day of his visit, Lanba is holding bilateral discussions with his counterpart, Admiral Vladimir Korolev, commander-in-chief of the Russian Federation Navy (RuFN).

"At Moscow, the Admiral will have discussions with General VV Gerasimov, Chief of General Staff and First Deputy Defence Minister of the Russian Federation and Mr. Dmitriy Shugaev, Director, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) of the Russian Federation," the Indian Navy's statement read.

The Indian Navy's statement indicates that the two countries remain undeterred by US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) and is likely to soon clear pending deals in the maritime domain.



Earlier this year on July 6, Sputnik reported that India and Russia had started discussions on joint construction and development of a nuclear submarine at a very cost effective rate at an Indian shipyard. Going by the proposal, the two countries intend to develop a prototype for under $200 million following which the Russian firm would transfer the technical know-how and related documents to the Indian shipyard.

Only last week, India and Russia concluded a $1.5 billion guided missile frigate deal under which two 3,620-ton Admiral Grigorovich-class vessels will be purchased off the shelf by India while two other frigates will be built at a state-owned shipyard in Goa, southern India. India has so far leased two nuclear-propelled submarines from Russia, including the Chakra, which is currently in service.

Admiral Lanba will also visit the Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and will deliver a talk on the "Indian Navy's Perspective on Maritime Security." He will also lay a wreath at Piskarev Memorial Cemetery in memory of the victims of the Siege of Leningrad.
hope for both S5 and SSN
 

Himanshu

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India close to sealing Rs 23,000 crore lease deal for Russian N-sub

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Talks are on for leasing another Akula-2 class nuclear powered attack submarine from Russia for $3.3 billion
  • It will replace INS Chakra, which was taken on a 10-year lease from Russia for $2.5 billion in 2011
  • Indian naval delegation inspected two Akula-2 class SSNs- Bratsk and Samara, in Russia last week
The photo backdrop to Admiral Sunil Lanba's annual Navy Day press conference on December 3 was a timely one. It showed a submerged Akula class nuclear powered attack submarine, firing a missile. Talks of leasing another Akula-2 class SSN from Russia to replace the INS Chakra at the end of its ten year lease, have reached a crescendo within the Navy in recent weeks.

Last week, a naval delegation led by Inspector General (Nuclear Safety) Vice Admiral Soonil V Bhokare returned after a tour of Russia. They inspected two Akula-2 class submarines, the Bratsk and the Samara, laid up for a deep refit at the Zvezdochka shipyard in the Arctic port of Severodvinsk. The delegation also included a Joint Secretary (Finance) in the MoD discussed the lease of one of these submarines reportedly for USD 3.3 billion (Rs 23,000 crore).

The Indian side is believed to have agreed to this amount and this could be the biggest defence deal after the two countries following the USD 5.4 billion (Rs 40,000 crore) purchase of five S-400 air defence missile systems in October and a USD 1.5 billion deal to buy two Admiral Grigorovich class frigates from Russia.

The naval delegation's visit was followed by a four-day visit to Russia by Admiral Lanba, where he reportedly discussed the Chakra lease and the construction of conventional submarines in India.

The Navy single Akula-2 class submarine, the INS Chakra, was taken on a ten year lease from Russia for USD 2.5 billion in 2011. Officials said the cost of the leasing its replacement, tentatively called the Chakra-3, was worked out after considering a cost escalation using the 2011 lease amount as a base.

Both the Bratsk and the Samara were shipped from a Russian naval base in Kamchatka to Severodvinsk in 2014, rather dramatically as deck cargo on a heavy load carrying merchant vessel. Both submarines were built at the Komsomolsk Shipyard on the Amur River in the Russian Far East and are not exactly new. The Bratsk is a 28-year-old hull while the Samara is 23 years old.

The Navy will soon select one of these hulls to lease. After the Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) is signed between the two countries, the submarine will be put through an intensive 72-month deep refit and rebuild, where the nuclear reactor will be replaced and a number of indigenous systems installed on board. The INS Chakra in contrast, had a shorter four- year refit between 2004 and 2008 because it did not require a reactor replacement, usually the most challenging part of a nuclear submarine's overhaul.

SSNs use a nuclear reactor for propulsion but are usually armed with conventional weapons like missiles and torpedoes to hunt other warships and submarines and strike at targets on land. Strategic analyst Rear Admiral Raja Menon calls them 'the ultimate arbiters of power', simply for their lethality and versatility. SSNs can be used for multiple tasks like hunting enemy submarines, escorting SSBNs and aircraft carriers and stalking and chasing enemy aircraft carriers and their warship escorts. SSNs differ from nuclear-missile armed SSBNs like the Navy's INS Arihant which completed a deterrent patrol last month. If SSBNs are like bombers, then SSNs are like fighter jets. The plan has five SSNs and is building three more.

All of the Indian Navy's tasks are currently performed by its single platform, the INS Chakra. The submarine was non operational for nearly a year after suffering an accident when some of the panels covering its sonar dome had sheared away while it was doing a high speed underwater run. Admiral Lanba on Monday confirmed that the Chakra had now returned to service. The vessel's ten-year lease expires in January 2022 and it is thus entirely possible that this lease could be extended for another three years to allow for the new submarine.

The Navy's bid for a fresh submarine comes at a time when it is struggling to build six 6,000 tonne indigenous SSNs. At his press conference last December, Admiral Lanba confirmed that the design work on the SSNs had commenced. Last month, however, Admiral Lanba told India Today that the launch of the first indigenous SSN was 'over a decade away', suggesting all is not well.

Naval analysts have taken this long lead time to build the submarine to mean that the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is yet to crack the main piece of the SSN puzzle- developing a nuclear powered reactor. BARC developed an 83 MW reactor with Russian assistance for the Arihant class SSBNs which are meant to quietly lurk out at sea while on patrol. Experts say using this reactor design won't do because of the very high output requirements for an SSN's reactor- rapid starts and very high sustained speeds when in battle.

There is perhaps yet another reason for continued access to the Akula class submarine. At 13,500 tonnes each, the three S-5 class of SSBNS which are soon to start building at the Ship Building Centre in Vizag, are double the displacement of the Arihant class. They have a displacement similar to that of the the Akula-2 class. While the roles of the two submarines are entirely different, the size is the same. At least one source suggests the S-5 is based on the Akula design. The S-5 boats are larger variants of the Arihant class with a larger hull diameter to carry a dozen longer-range SLBMs (the two Arihant class carry can carry four K-4 missiles, the S-4 and S-4*, eight missiles).
 
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Parthu

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India close to sealing Rs 23,000 crore lease deal for Russian N-sub

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Talks are on for leasing another Akula-2 class nuclear powered attack submarine from Russia for $3.3 billion
  • It will replace INS Chakra, which was taken on a 10-year lease from Russia for $2.5 billion in 2011
  • Indian naval delegation inspected two Akula-2 class SSNs- Bratsk and Samara, in Russia last week
The photo backdrop to Admiral Sunil Lanba's annual Navy Day press conference on December 3 was a timely one. It showed a submerged Akula class nuclear powered attack submarine, firing a missile. Talks of leasing another Akula-2 class SSN from Russia to replace the INS Chakra at the end of its ten year lease, have reached a crescendo within the Navy in recent weeks.

Last week, a naval delegation led by Inspector General (Nuclear Safety) Vice Admiral Soonil V Bhokare returned after a tour of Russia. They inspected two Akula-2 class submarines, the Bratsk and the Samara, laid up for a deep refit at the Zvezdochka shipyard in the Arctic port of Severodvinsk. The delegation also included a Joint Secretary (Finance) in the MoD discussed the lease of one of these submarines reportedly for USD 3.3 billion (Rs 23,000 crore).

The Indian side is believed to have agreed to this amount and this could be the biggest defence deal after the two countries following the USD 5.4 billion (Rs 40,000 crore) purchase of five S-400 air defence missile systems in October and a USD 1.5 billion deal to buy two Admiral Grigorovich class frigates from Russia.

The naval delegation's visit was followed by a four-day visit to Russia by Admiral Lanba, where he reportedly discussed the Chakra lease and the construction of conventional submarines in India.

The Navy single Akula-2 class submarine, the INS Chakra, was taken on a ten year lease from Russia for USD 2.5 billion in 2011. Officials said the cost of the leasing its replacement, tentatively called the Chakra-3, was worked out after considering a cost escalation using the 2011 lease amount as a base.

Both the Bratsk and the Samara were shipped from a Russian naval base in Kamchatka to Severodvinsk in 2014, rather dramatically as deck cargo on a heavy load carrying merchant vessel. Both submarines were built at the Komsomolsk Shipyard on the Amur River in the Russian Far East and are not exactly new. The Bratsk is a 28-year-old hull while the Samara is 23 years old.

The Navy will soon select one of these hulls to lease. After the Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) is signed between the two countries, the submarine will be put through an intensive 72-month deep refit and rebuild, where the nuclear reactor will be replaced and a number of indigenous systems installed on board. The INS Chakra in contrast, had a shorter four- year refit between 2004 and 2008 because it did not require a reactor replacement, usually the most challenging part of a nuclear submarine's overhaul.

SSNs use a nuclear reactor for propulsion but are usually armed with conventional weapons like missiles and torpedoes to hunt other warships and submarines and strike at targets on land. Strategic analyst Rear Admiral Raja Menon calls them 'the ultimate arbiters of power', simply for their lethality and versatility. SSNs can be used for multiple tasks like hunting enemy submarines, escorting SSBNs and aircraft carriers and stalking and chasing enemy aircraft carriers and their warship escorts. SSNs differ from nuclear-missile armed SSBNs like the Navy's INS Arihant which completed a deterrent patrol last month. If SSBNs are like bombers, then SSNs are like fighter jets. The plan has five SSNs and is building three more.

All of the Indian Navy's tasks are currently performed by its single platform, the INS Chakra. The submarine was non operational for nearly a year after suffering an accident when some of the panels covering its sonar dome had sheared away while it was doing a high speed underwater run. Admiral Lanba on Monday confirmed that the Chakra had now returned to service. The vessel's ten-year lease expires in January 2022 and it is thus entirely possible that this lease could be extended for another three years to allow for the new submarine.

The Navy's bid for a fresh submarine comes at a time when it is struggling to build six 6,000 tonne indigenous SSNs. At his press conference last December, Admiral Lanba confirmed that the design work on the SSNs had commenced. Last month, however, Admiral Lanba told India Today that the launch of the first indigenous SSN was 'over a decade away', suggesting all is not well.

Naval analysts have taken this long lead time to build the submarine to mean that the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is yet to crack the main piece of the SSN puzzle- developing a nuclear powered reactor. BARC developed an 83 MW reactor with Russian assistance for the Arihant class SSBNs which are meant to quietly lurk out at sea while on patrol. Experts say using this reactor design won't do because of the very high output requirements for an SSN's reactor- rapid starts and very high sustained speeds when in battle.

There is perhaps yet another reason for continued access to the Akula class submarine. At 13,500 tonnes each, the three S-5 class of SSBNS which are soon to start building at the Ship Building Centre in Vizag, are double the displacement of the Arihant class. They have a displacement similar to that of the the Akula-2 class. While the roles of the two submarines are entirely different, the size is the same. At least one source suggests the S-5 is based on the Akula design. The S-5 boats are larger variants of the Arihant class with a larger hull diameter to carry a dozen longer-range SLBMs (the two Arihant class carry can carry four K-4 missiles, the S-4 and S-4*, eight missiles).

We must remember that leasing these SSNs was not just for training and experience-building (that too), but also for the purpose of mapping & building a database of the sea floor around the various underwater trenches and ridges deep in the IOR where our nuclear deterrence platforms (SSBNs) will lurk.

A lot of these areas are at depths which no conventional diesel-electric submarine can reach, hence can't map.

Without such databases, our ability to conduct SSBN deterrence patrols & SSN hunter-killer operations in the future will be massively hindered. So its not hard to see why the IN ascribes such importance to having access to at least one operational N-sub (other than the SSBNs), at whatever cost.