Project 75 India Diesel-electric Submarine Programs (SSK) : Updates and Discussions

Who will win the P75I program?

  • L&T and Navantia

    Votes: 12 40.0%
  • MDL and TKMS

    Votes: 5 16.7%
  • It will get canceled eventually

    Votes: 13 43.3%

  • Total voters
    30
At some point, we need to make something out of sunk cost.

With SSNs becoming a viable high-end option, a reassessment of the sub plan is due, simple as that. In all likelihood, we aren't gonna go ahead with P75I until & unless that happens.



We already indigenized most of Scorpene. Would be a waste of billions of dollars and nearly two decades of time if we don't build at least another 6-9 upgraded versions of those (including FC-AIP, LIB and maybe even a VLS module plug-in like the Korean SSKs).

Something tells me, that's what we'll eventually end up doing. We'll see...the track record of P75I means there's no reason to assume it'll happen until it does.

Your argument goes against reality. Navantia's S-80 Plus is basically Scorpene, it should have been their natural choice. The same for Navantia, how much ToT would they need to transfer when MDL has already manufactured Scorpenes? The fact that they don't care about such things is far more important.

So basically nothing except the hull is going to be off-the-shelf. Our own CMS & probably (given the timeline) our own AIP. I just don't see this as viable. 15 years back, maybe. But certainly not now.

I think it's more beneficial to just go for a fully indigenous SSK program (P76) which would essentially be our own enlarged Scorpene with full IP control that would deliver in next decade. And just keep building Scorpenes until then.

P76 is still far away. It's not gonna meet the IN's timelines, especially with the P75I already delayed.

I'd basically say P75I or Barracuda/Yasen M production.

Like I said, the focus on foreign system is a 16-year old assessment. Right now it depends on how soon the Spanish can get theirs ready. If they take too long, the whole thing becomes unviable.

The entire 75I was based on the premise that there are ready-to-buy solutions to choose from. That is now clearly not the case & there's gonna be a lot of waiting & uncertainty involved in this as well*

*unless we go G2G.

If IN says they are willing to wait, I doubt it will be long. Or they proceed with single vendor.

Not possible for it to be same as 75I.

Tejas Mk-1A can roll off the same hot production line we have for Mk-1. But the Mk-2 can't. It'll need all new infrastructure & jigs. Same for Scorpene & 75I.

Not really. Present infra can be scaled up for any size. Shipyard jigs are like workbenches. You can build a small ship or a large ship using the same infra. It's size and weight that are constraints. MDL would have taken SSN production into the equation.

Track record says Navy is in no hurry whatsoever.

Cuz if you ask me, Navy itself doesn't yet know if they should be buying 75I in its current form. But the plan drawn in 90s requires them to pursue a procurement effort until otherwise told, so they'll keep the RFP up.

But an actual deal? Probably not. 🫣

The IN is in a hurry. Today they are only guaranteed 9 Scorpenes and 1 Akula out of a minimum 18. If we go for P75I and P75A alone, we won't get to 24 subs until the 2050s.

That's why the high-low mix.

SSNs on high-end, SSKs on low-end.

It's not hi-lo though. Both are for the high-end requirement. In India, the idea behind hi-lo is just cost, and mainly operating cost. And an SSK is gonna cost more than an SSN. For example, MKI and Rafale are the hi-lo mix. We basically need a cheaper jet that can do as much or more than the MKI, which is why the MKI was the standard we used to judge the contenders' technical characteristics.

When it comes to capability, we want our SSKs and SSNs to pretty much do the same stuff. SSNs just tend to be more lethal and require less babysitting. So there is no hi-lo concept here, neither financial or capability.
 
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But the end question is, will France even offer us the Barracuda class SSN and not the Shortfin Barracuda which was recently selected by the Netherlands?

It's an open secret that Naval Group did not fulfill it's ToT commitments that were agreed upon when the original P75 deal was signed. The boats that rolled out of MDL are barely 50% indigenous.

SSNs of course, or bust.

Scorpene ToT requirement was 50%, so that's all right. Any ToT beyond that is up to us to develop, and we are doing that.

Anyway, we gotta get the French and Russians competing for the contract, MRCBF style. The point is unlike MRFA or P75I, this program is about ensuring India's posture towards the winning side, so the financial element is secondary for the parties involved.

Russia needs India for continued survival. France needs India for security and marketshare, by extension Germany and other European countries too. And we sit on the fulcrum of the see-saw. So let's see if they think India is important enough for their SSNs.
 
Your argument goes against reality. Navantia's S-80 Plus is basically Scorpene, it should have been their natural choice. The same for Navantia, how much ToT would they need to transfer when MDL has already manufactured Scorpenes? The fact that they don't care about such things is far more important.

MoD will foot the bill, MDL doesn't care if it's more expensive. It's also possible they anticipated the issues with Navantia's AIP offer and are banking on a G2G with the Germans.

P76 is still far away. It's not gonna meet the IN's timelines, especially with the P75I already delayed.

I'd basically say P75I or Barracuda/Yasen M production.

We're always going to be operating a fleet of diesel boats, regardless of timeline. SSNs won't change that.

Not really. Present infra can be scaled up for any size. Shipyard jigs are like workbenches. You can build a small ship or a large ship using the same infra. It's size and weight that are constraints. MDL would have taken SSN production into the equation.

Scaling up costs money. And recertifying all the vendors takes time.

The IN is in a hurry. Today they are only guaranteed 9 Scorpenes and 1 Akula out of a minimum 18. If we go for P75I and P75A alone, we won't get to 24 subs until the 2050s.

There is no limit on how many Scorpenes we can build. It's a matter of releasing the funds. Which would anyway be cheaper than P75I.

It's not hi-lo though. Both are for the high-end requirement. In India, the idea behind hi-lo is just cost, and mainly operating cost. And an SSK is gonna cost more than an SSN.

It's not just running cost of diesel vs uranium that matters, but the entire ecosystem that needs to be developed to support the SSNs.

We're building new dry docks, new enrichment facilities for the HEU fuel, new underground pens etc. If you have 6 additional diesel boats to run, you just need to sign up for more diesel fuel...fuel that you'd use to run various other things anyway (including civilian shipping). But if you get 6 additional SSNs, it would cost billions to enhance the production of HEU to keep them all fueled.

Sure it's mostly gonna be a one-time sunk cost, but it's still way heavier on CAPEX than diesel boats, So it cannot be scaled as easily.

When it comes to capability, we want our SSKs and SSNs to pretty much do the same stuff. SSNs just tend to be more lethal and require less babysitting. So there is no hi-lo concept here, neither financial or capability.

SSKs can't really be hunter-killers on the open ocean, chasing down Chinese task forces. Plus, remember PLAN has SSNs. You don't want us to be at a disadvantage going up against them.

Against Pakistan, or being ambush predators at chokepoints, sure SSKs will manage.

But no question SSNs will be on the high-end...if we end up putting the 190MWt reactor on the SSN, no diesel will be able to match the kind of power its sensors will be capable of. Not to mention immense motive power on tap.

If a surface ship decides to egress at full speed, there's very little an SSK can do about it...but an SSN is a whole other ball game.
 
I don't know if guys have heard about project Nobska (1950's) under which SSK was re designed to be SSKN (SSN) by USN for hunter killer designation but that didn't work due to cost factors. More over ASW is not just related to submarine and tech but oceanography as well said the project report doing extensive studies on soviet operations too. But in any way the project favored complete new design of vessel as SSN as it was more lethal due to better sensor implementation.

ASROC ( anti sumbarine missile system) was highly recommended for ASW , infact now India has also developed SMART on similar principles.
 
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MoD will foot the bill, MDL doesn't care if it's more expensive. It's also possible they anticipated the issues with Navantia's AIP offer and are banking on a G2G with the Germans.

MDL does care if it's more expensive, else they will lose the tender.

The German option carries more risk than Navantia's. It will be the first of its class.

That's why the T1 versus Navantia's L1. L&T is capable of building it all from scratch, certifying all the stakeholders and still remain cheaper. MDL is probably betting on their Type 209 refit experience to make things cheaper.

We're always going to be operating a fleet of diesel boats, regardless of timeline. SSNs won't change that.

I was just throwing it out there due to the other discussion with Picdel. If the French offer ToT, then SSNs are the better option, with the least risk.

Scaling up costs money. And recertifying all the vendors takes time.

That is gonna happen anyway. Even minor changes require full recertification of the design. That's what's plaguing the F-35 as well.

There is no limit on how many Scorpenes we can build. It's a matter of releasing the funds. Which would anyway be cheaper than P75I.

We can build the MKI too. But it no longer meets requirements.

It's not just running cost of diesel vs uranium that matters, but the entire ecosystem that needs to be developed to support the SSNs.

We're building new dry docks, new enrichment facilities for the HEU fuel, new underground pens etc. If you have 6 additional diesel boats to run, you just need to sign up for more diesel fuel...fuel that you'd use to run various other things anyway (including civilian shipping). But if you get 6 additional SSNs, it would cost billions to enhance the production of HEU to keep them all fueled.

Sure it's mostly gonna be a one-time sunk cost, but it's still way heavier on CAPEX than diesel boats, So it cannot be scaled as easily.

All the nuke stuff will have to be handled by the OEMs. The French reactor uses 6% LEU, so refueling is doable in India, and pretty much anybody can supply it. The refueling cycle is 10 years. The Russian reactor uses HEU but is for the life of the sub, ie 25 years, which is enough for the IN.

SSKs can't really be hunter-killers on the open ocean, chasing down Chinese task forces. Plus, remember PLAN has SSNs. You don't want us to be at a disadvantage going up against them.

Against Pakistan, or being ambush predators at chokepoints, sure SSKs will manage.

But no question SSNs will be on the high-end...if we end up putting the 190MWt reactor on the SSN, no diesel will be able to match the kind of power its sensors will be capable of. Not to mention immense motive power on tap.

If a surface ship decides to egress at full speed, there's very little an SSK can do about it...but an SSN is a whole other ball game.

All that's possible when we get to 15+ SSNs. With just 6, we will continue to be risk-averse. Our objective against PLAN is sea denial over the next decade and a half, so force preservation will be paramount.

And, as you said, PLAN has SSNs, so an import is our fastest access to some.

In any case, even if the French/Russians offer SSNs with ToT, we are far more likely to see P76 suffer over P75I, so it's unlikely to impact our discussion. And for now only 1 Akula is assured, and I'd definitely like to see the next Akula lease replaced by a Yasen-M sale.
 
MDL does care if it's more expensive, else they will lose the tender.

The German option carries more risk than Navantia's. It will be the first of its class.

That's why the T1 versus Navantia's L1. L&T is capable of building it all from scratch, certifying all the stakeholders and still remain cheaper. MDL is probably betting on their Type 209 refit experience to make things cheaper.

The German AIP solution is the only one that's actually operational. And it's mature.

Unlike the Spanish solution, which is just starting it's first-generation service life and will be full of niggles for quite a while & if we choose it, we'll be forced to tackle these issues alongside Navantia in a learn-as-you-go situation a.k.a the blind leading the blind.

Yes, S80+ might very well emerge L1, but the technical drawbacks & lack of design maturity of the systems might yet prove to be its undoing. Likely MDL is counting on that.

That is gonna happen anyway. Even minor changes require full recertification of the design. That's what's plaguing the F-35 as well.

Yes but NG knows the vendors & their capabilities by now. Which ones have the infrastructure to build a new component, which ones have the liquidity to retool for a new component and which don't. TKMS/Navantia don't know anything and will have reassess everyone on their own.

We can build the MKI too. But it no longer meets requirements.

Which is why we're upgrading it.

And that's exactly our approach with Scorpene as well. There's no way we'd be so adamant on integrating DRDO AIP on it if we thought the platform was a technological dead end.

All the nuke stuff will have to be handled by the OEMs. The French reactor uses 6% LEU, so refueling is doable in India, and pretty much anybody can supply it. The refueling cycle is 10 years.

If you're talking about leasing SSNs, the whole point of pursuing additional Akulas was to give our sailors & engineers continuous at-sea operating experience with the OK-650B reactor - which is what our CLWR-B2 is based on. More subs on lease, the more crews we can train simultaneously.

If you think back, that was the point behind the first Chakra (Charlie-class) lease as well - to get us experience on the VM-series reactor which the Arihant's CLWR-B1 was based on.

Training a crop of engineers (which is a decade-long process btw) on a totally different French LEU reactor which has nothing to do with our N-propulsion program isn't going to help us in any way.

Unless we're talking of outright buying them to be actual combatants & not just training platforms. But that proposition is no doubt an expensive one, and one that we never factored into our plans. We can't do that either without a full reassessment of the Sub program.

The Russian reactor uses HEU but is for the life of the sub, ie 25 years, which is enough for the IN.

25 yrs isn't life, it's just over half the life. Russians just retired a lot of boats early cuz they couldn't afford to refuel & refurbish them after '91.

Usually, Russian reactors (even the latest ones) AFAIK don't use more than 40-60% HEU. So it's surprising that they last about as long as Western ones (~90% enriched) do before needing to refuel. Probably because they don't run them as hard as the US/UK do.

Arihant's 40% HEU reactor went critical in 2013 and as of last year it's in dry dock, presumably for refueling after 10 years of operation. We need to up our game on that.

In any case, even if the French/Russians offer SSNs with ToT, we are far more likely to see P76 suffer over P75I, so it's unlikely to impact our discussion.

French help in the N-sub program is welcome, just not reactor-related. We've gone too deep down the HEU rabbit hole both time & infrastructure-wise to change now.

Our ultimate R&D goal (for 2040 & beyond) has to be +95% enriched Life-of-Type reactors that are fully sealed and never have to be refueled (40-yr life), like what's gonna go on Columbia-class.

And for now only 1 Akula is assured, and I'd definitely like to see the next Akula lease replaced by a Yasen-M sale.

Are we certain that even 1 Akula is assured?

Either way, it seems IN & BARC have to come up with some ingenious solution to leverage the CLWR-B2's shore based prototype for training purposes beyond its original scope.
 
Korea backed out 'cause of CHINAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Some say it's 'cause of ToT requirements, but of course that's BS 'cause they had agreed to it already. And we know Sweden backed citing ToT even before the competition began.
And whats the source of this assertion?

We gotta wait for Spain to avoid a single vendor situation. There's no one else left.
Just offer more money for SSKs, chuck the darn "bidding" bullshit and lengthy wait and go with g2g route.
Spain will take another 2 decades before it masters AIP. Not to mention, DRDO is ahead of them. Just get their AIP certified by frnech Naval Group and meanwhile get South Korean SSK via G2G route.

Unlike the Spanish solution, which is just starting it's first-generation service life and will be full of niggles for quite a while & if we choose it, we'll be forced to tackle these issues alongside Navantia in a learn-as-you-go situation a.k.a the blind leading the blind.
Exactly! better idea is to go with g2g route with SK or Germany. Me says SK is much better, Hanwa oceanic SSK K-III is a 3000 ton sub with a fuel cell based AIP. Just get a G2G deal and close this chapter. Better yet get 10 SSKs while we are at it.
 
??? big doubt.
Maybe the ones using highly enriched uranium (only one load for the whole life of the sub), but a replacement of the uranium load for low enrichied one is long, complex so costly.
If we know the price of diesel liter, what about low or higly enriched uranium ?
there is also a question of decomissioning of nuclear subs. Its not cheap.

I highly doubt SSNs are over all less costly. They offer certain tactical advantages to be sure but low cost is not among it.
 
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??? big doubt.
Maybe the ones using highly enriched uranium (only one load for the whole life of the sub), but a replacement of the uranium load for low enrichied one is long, complex so costly.
(…)
Hi Bon Plan, I published some extracts from a study published by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in "French Navy, news & discussions", which contradicts your comments:

France's Choice for Naval Nuclear Propulsion: Why Low-Enriched Uranium Was Chosen - Federation of American Scientists

Loading and Unloading of the Reactor Core​

(…) a submarine hull will experience during its operational life various pressure cycles due to diving operations; most navies do not like permanent hatches in the hull and hence will cut openings when needed for maintenance and re-weld the hull when maintenance is over. Unloading and reloading the nuclear core at each overhaul would require cutting the hull on top of the nuclear plant pressure vessel and re-weld it every time. Those repeated operations in the same area will weaken the steel and, thus, could limit the maximum depth authorized for the submarine in the long run.

However, as far as French submarines are concerned, this problem does not exist as the designer since the “Arethuse” type — a type of small conventional submarines built in the middle of the 1950s — has incorporated in the hull some specific openings (called “brèches” in French). Brèches are rectangular hatches of sufficient dimension to permit loading and unloading of heavy equipment. The photographs and sketch below define and illustrate these brèches. They can be described as portions of the pressure hull that will fit in such a manner that the external pressure will seal them in the right position. Inside the hull, some safety bolts will ensure that even in severe shocks they will stay in place.


GMKQK2_W4AAo9L3.jpg


Several brèches are positioned all along the hull, one of which being on top of the nuclear plant. Unloading the core is then relatively easy and can be done at any time, even during the short stays in port between patrols (it was effectively demonstrated on SSBN Le Redoutable).


What's more, in 2005, an article by Vincent Groizeleau for Mer&Marine, an archive of which I have kept, specifies the duration of the operation:

Nuclear submarine maintenance: Performance on target​

Mer et Marine
Published on 25/10/2005 by Vincent Groizeleau
https://www.meretmarine.com/fr/cont...ns-nucleaires-les-performances-au-rendez-vous
(err.404)

(…) the nuclear boiler room is extracted from submersible using a mobile intervention workshop (AMI) which is positioned just above the access gap to the engine compartment. In a situation of total sealing, the 32 elements core fuels are taken out and transported to the large adjacent hangar, where they are checked and recharged in the swimming pool. The reactor itself (6 meters in height and 3 in diameter) is dismantled piece by piece. Highly sensitive handling, loading and unloading of nuclear facilities takes 5 days.
 
(…) the nuclear boiler room is extracted from submersible using a mobile intervention workshop (AMI) which is positioned just above the access gap to the engine compartment. In a situation of total sealing, the 32 elements core fuels are taken out and transported to the large adjacent hangar, where they are checked and recharged in the swimming pool. The reactor itself (6 meters in height and 3 in diameter) is dismantled piece by piece. Highly sensitive handling, loading and unloading of nuclear facilities takes 5 days.
Does the entire process, dismantling included takes only 5 days or dismantling takes more time separately? The language is somewhat ambiguous (atleast the english translation).
 
Does the entire process, dismantling included takes only 5 days or dismantling takes more time separately? The language is somewhat ambiguous (atleast the english translation).
What is important is the immobilisation time of the submarine, this time is 5 days. It is possible that work on land will last longer.
 
What is important is the immobilisation time of the submarine, this time is 5 days. It is possible that work on land will last longer.
But that work on land will add cost to the sub operations still, right? It may make sub availability better but there will still be cost associated.

The point is, SSN going to be a more cost effective option than SSK in long run seems unfounded.
 
But that work on land will add cost to the sub operations still, right? It may make sub availability better but there will still be cost associated.

The point is, SSN going to be a more cost effective option than SSK in long run seems unfounded.
The load of a submarine, even slightly enriched, is of the order of 20% U 235, while a civilian power station is more like 7%. There may therefore be work on land, even costly, which is profitable to make the spent charge of the submarine usable by a civilian power station.

To do this, we must remove the elements which poison the reactor core, which is done in La Hague in France, where we have a reprocessing plant.
 
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The load of a submarine, even slightly enriched, is of the order of 20% U 235, while a civilian power station is more like 7%. There may therefore be work on land, even costly, which is profitable to make the spent charge of the submarine usable by a civilian power station.

To do this, we must remove the elements which poison the reactor core, which is done in La Hague in France, where we have a reprocessing plant.
So cost could be shared with civilian nuclear operations, right?

India does have reprocessing facilities.
 
Does the entire process, dismantling included takes only 5 days or dismantling takes more time separately? The language is somewhat ambiguous (atleast the english translation).
i give you the full text in french language, so you can use your favorite translator:

Maintenance des sous-marins nucléaires: Les performances au rendez-vous
Mer et Marine
Publié le 25/10/2005 par Vincent Groizeleau

Sur les abords des bassins Missiessy, à Toulon, ouvriers et techniciens s’affairent autour de l’Améthyste [Rubis class SSN].
Le sous-marin nucléaire d’attaque, l’un des six que possède la marine, vient d’être remis à flot. Cette étape marque la dernière ligne droite avant son retour à la vie opérationnelle prévu mi-décembre. Le
SNA est en pleine période d’Indisponibilité Programmée pour Entretien et Réparation (IPER). Cette opération de maintenance particulièrement lourde, qui dure 14 mois, intervient tous les 8 ans. Le sous-
marin est alors totalement vidé. « Il faut tout sortir et tout vérifier, de la coque aux instruments électroniques en passant par les réseaux électriques. Pour cela, trois brèches permettent de débarquer
le matériel », explique François Revaud, chef du département des sous-marins nucléaires à DCN Services Toulon. Pour bien comprendre ce que représente cette « grande révision des 100 mois », il faut imaginer que 63.000 pièces sont traitées, dont 15.000 pour la chaufferie nucléaire. Cette dernière est extraite du submersible à l’aide d’un atelier mobile d’intervention (AMI) qui vient se positionner juste au dessus de la brèche d’accès au compartiment moteur. Dans une situation de totale étanchéité, les 32 éléments
combustibles du cœur sont sortis et acheminés vers le vaste hangar adjacent, où ils sont vérifiés et rechargés en piscine. Le réacteur lui-même (6 mètres de hauteur pour 3 de diamètre) est démonté pièce
par pièce. Manutention très sensible, le chargement et le déchargement des installations nucléaires prend 5 jours. DCN Payé à la disponibilité Si ce type de travaux ne date pas d’hier, depuis deux ans, les
marins français connaissent une petite révolution dans l’entretien de leurs navires. Conséquence du changement de statut des anciens arsenaux, DCN, devenue entreprise de droit privé, a signé en 2003
sont premier contrat de maintien en condition opérationnelle (MCO) payé à la disponibilité et non plus au travail réalisé. En clair, l’entreprise s’engage à assurer à la marine un nombre de jour de mer donné
pour ses SNA. Si ce niveau n’est pas atteint, elle n’est tout simplement pas payée. Pour Bernard Planchet, directeur de DCN Services Toulon : « Avant, nous faisions de la réparation. Aujourd’hui, nous
vendons de la disponibilité. Pour y parvenir, il a fallu optimiser les travaux de maintenance et anticiper au maximum les avaries ». Au delà des passages au bassin, DCN assure un suivi permanent. A bord des submersibles, plus de 1000 critères sont vérifiés et notés chaque semaine. C’est en fonction du résultat, comme à l’école, que l’entreprise est payée et, à l’instar des examens, il existe des notes éliminatoires pour les grosses avaries. « Ce mode de fonctionnement a nécessité un changement radical du management interne. Le fait que la marine nous confie la responsabilité de l’opération de A à Z nous
permet d’optimiser le travail tout en baissant les prix. Nous avons même créé un service de hotline avec des techniciens joignables 7 jours sur 7 et 24 heures sur 24 ». Les sous-marins n’ont jamais été autant à la mer Par les temps qui courent, un discours si positif peut paraître étonnant. Le patron de DCN Services Toulon a-t-il l’autosatisfaction facile? Le seul moyen d’en avoir le cœur net, c’est de demander
directement à l’utilisateur. Pour cela, nous avons rencontré le capitaine de frégate Stephan Meunier, commandant du SNA Rubis. Son bateau est sorti cet été d’une courte période d’entretien. « Pour DCN,
c’est un gros challenge car ce navire date du début des années 80 et il faut le maintenir à un niveau de performance très élevé. Le nouveau système de MCO fonctionne beaucoup mieux et de façon très pragmatique avec le listing hebdomadaire ». Pour le pacha du Rubis, comme pour l’Etat major de la marine, les chiffres sont éloquents. Il y a quelques années, la flotte alignait péniblement la moitié de ses SNA à la mer. Il est même arrivé qu'une seule des six unités soit disponible. En juin dernier, cinq
bâtiments étaient en même temps en opération. Du jamais vu de mémoire de sous-marinier.

© Mer et Marine
 
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I don't know the status of the AHWR300-LEU project

Any news?

AHWR is for Phase-3 of the civilian nuclear program. Currently we're just about to enter Phase-2 with PFBR. So this is over a decade away or even more.

There are several other LEU reactors already operational (like IPHWR series in 220, 540 & 700 MWe versions) but they're all on the civilian side of things.

I'm talking about the infrastructure we've already spent lots of money building like the large-scale enrichment facilities at SMEF in Karnataka:

(2014 news, heavily suppressed since then)

The old facilities at RMP were also expanded by 2013:


India's weapons program moved to Plutonium a long time ago, and got NSG waiver to trade in fuel for civilian reactors by 2008 so the increase in Uranium-enrichment capacity can only be for one thing: to supply fuel for the submarine program.
 
AHWR is for Phase-3 of the civilian nuclear program. Currently we're just about to enter Phase-2 with PFBR. So this is over a decade away or even more.

There are several other LEU reactors already operational (like IPHWR series in 220, 540 & 700 MWe versions) but they're all on the civilian side of things.

I'm talking about the infrastructure we've already spent lots of money building like the large-scale enrichment facilities at SMEF in Karnataka:

(2014 news, heavily suppressed since then)

The old facilities at RMP were also expanded by 2013:


India's weapons program moved to Plutonium a long time ago, and got NSG waiver to trade in fuel for civilian reactors by 2008 so the increase in Uranium-enrichment capacity can only be for one thing: to supply fuel for the submarine program.
Construction work have speed up in the region lately
 
1.5 Km to 2 Km long Underground Submarine Pen for SSBN, SSN/SSGN, SSK etc under construction....it's wide enough for Typhoon class sub to easily enter & exist.

Screenshot_2024-05-30-22-16-33-041_com.google.android.apps.maps-edit.jpg


Screenshot_2024-05-30-22-16-05-756_com.google.android.apps.maps-edit.jpg



Need to build more such facilities at western Coast as well as Andaman & Nicobar islands.