Russia May Build India New Super Advanced Submarine
India and Russia are in the final stages of talks for Delhi to lease another nuclear attack submarine from Moscow. According to India’s Economic Times, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin will discuss the deal on the sidelines of the BRICS Leadership Summit currently being held in Ufa, Russia.
“Several sources related to the project that ET spoke with confirmed that talks on leasing a new submarine under the 'Chakra 3' project are in advanced stages and that the issue will be discussed during Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia this week,” the report said.
There has been previous signs that India intends to lease a second Russian-built nuclear attack submarine (SSK). And, during a trip to India last year, Vladimir Putin indicated that Russia would be interested in such a deal.
However, the new Economic Times report said that in contrast to previous Indo-Russian submarine deals, under the “Chakra 3” project, Russia will build India a customized submarine. The report speculates that the boat may be one of Russia’s new Yasen-class submarines, or else a derivative with a similar design.
"The final shape is yet to be decided, but it is now almost certain that a 'greenfield' submarine will be built," ET quotes an unnamed source close to the program as saying.
A Yasen-like submarine would be a significant boost to India’s depleted undersea fleet. As Kyle Mizokami has observed on The National Interest: “The Yasen class is one of the most advanced submarines in the world. The class reportedly has a crew of only ninety, implying a high level of automation. A 200MW nuclear reactor is thought to power the submarine to a maximum speed of 35 to 40 knots, with a ‘quiet operating speed’ of 20 knots.”
Regarding weaponry, Mizokami pointed out that: “The Yasen class has eight vertical launch tubes, four 650mm torpedo tubes and four standard-diameter 533mm torpedo tubes. Besides standard guided torpedoes, Yasen will almost certainly be armed with the Shkval supercavitating torpedo, capable of traveling at 200 knots to ranges from 7 to 13 kilometers.”
India is currently in the process of trying to revamp its submarine fleet, which has been battered by a number of mishaps in recent years. For starters, India is trying to build nuclear-powered ballistic missile (SSBNs) to serve as the sea-based leg of its strategic deterrence.
In addition, earlier this year India greenlit a project to build six-indigenously produced nuclear attack submarines, which would likely be manufactured with significant foreign assistance from abroad. In fact, as The National Interest previously reported, Russia and India have been in discussions over starting a joint-venture involving the nuclear attack submarines. Those talks are still in the very preliminary stages.
Still, India has a long history of relying on Russian submarines to power its undersea fleet. In the 1960s and 1970s, for example, the Soviet Union sold India eight Foxtrot-class submarines, which India operated as Vela-class submarines. India also currently operates a number of Kilo-class submarines, which are designated as Sindhughosh-class submarines by the Indian Navy.
Furthermore, India has experiencing leasing Russian-built nuclear attack submarines. In the 1980s, India briefly leased a SSK from the Soviet Union under Chakra 1. Delhi took on a ten-year lease for a second Russian-built SSK in 2012. Unlike the deal currently in discussion, both of those earlier submarines were refurbished Soviet and Russian boats.
In related news, Russia is reportedly interested in making India a global hub for the upgrade, maintenance and repair of Russian-built conventional submarines. Evgeny V. Shustikov, Deputy Director General of Russia’s state-owned Zvyozdochka Shipyards, tells the Economic Times that: "We are in the process of negotiating with an Indian shipyard and if these negotiations are successful, it could become our partner for future tasks of modernising Kilo class submarines. Not just for India but for third nations as well.”
The report went on to say that: “Officials from the state-run Zvyozdochka shipyard told ET that a memorandum of understanding could be signed within a month as it is in final talks with an Indian partner for the project. Russian engineers have already visited the Indian yard and advised it on changes to be made as well as investments needed to execute the project.”
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------India is planning to procure the Super Advanced Borei Class Nuclear SSBN's
Russia’s third Borei-class nuclear-powered submarine Vladimir Monomakh has officially become part of the Russian Navy. Armed with Bulava ballistic missiles, the SSBNs of this class are the planet’s most advanced nuclear deterrence tool.
The Borei-class, Project 955, fourth generation SSBN (Ship, Submersible, Ballistic, Nuclear) Vladimir Monomakh has been built at Sevmash shipyard in Russia’s White Sea port of Severmorsk. It followed two first vessels of the same project, the lead vessel of the series SSBN Yuriy Dolgorukiy and SSBN Alexander Nevsky, which both joined the Russian Navy in 2013.
According to the Russian military, Borei-class are state-of-the-art submarines, featuring characteristics superior to any submarine currently in service worldwide. The Borei-class subs are replacing outgoing nuclear subs of the previous generation and are set to become the backbone of Russia’s sea-based nuclear defenses.
They have a compact, hydro-dynamically efficient hull for reduced broadband noise and are the first to use pump-jet propulsion among Russian submarines. Their submerged cruise speed is at least 30 knots (56 kilometers per hour). Safety measures for the subs include a rescue chamber that can host all 107 crew members.
The primary weapon of the Borei SSBNs is the Bulava SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile, SS-NX-30 by NATO designation) solid fuel missile with well over a 9,000 kilometer firing range capability. Bulava’s payload is 6 to 10 hypersonic, individually guided, maneuverable nuclear warheads with a yield of 100 to 150 kilotons each.
Each Borei submarine, designed by the Rubin Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering in St Petersburg, is armed with 16 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Bulava missile has had a somewhat checkered development history, with technical glitches plaguing the early tests. Altogether there have been 22 launches in the SLBM’s history. However, out of the last 10 launches, only one failed.
The SSBN Vladimir Monomakh was handed over to the Russian Navy in December 2014, having completed all trials and tests, including a successful Bulava launch in September.
The underwater missile launch was carried out from the White Sea off the northwest Russian coast. All warheads hit the Kura test range in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. That missile launch was followed by two more successful launches carried out by the SSBN Yury Dolgorukiy in October and the SSBN Alexander Nevsky in November.
A fourth Borei-class submarine, Knyaz Vladimir, is currently under construction in Severomorsk, while a fifth, Knyaz Oleg, was laid down at the Sevmash shipyard. The SSBN Knyaz Oleg will become the first of the upgraded Project 955A submarines, which will boast smaller hulls and cons as well as even better acoustics and lower sound levels. The sixth Borei-class submarine is the SSBN Knyaz Suvorov.
By 2020, the Defense Ministry plans to have eight Borei-class subs as the backbone of the naval component of the country’s strategic nuclear deterrent.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FGFA Fighter deal likely during Modi’s November visit to Russia
The deal has been stuck due to differences in work share.
The final agreement for the joint development and production of a fifth generation fighter aircraft could be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in November, diplomatic sources told The Hindu on Thursday.
Preparations are under way in both countries for the summit-level meeting to impart a qualitative boost to defence cooperation.
Agreeing that differences exist, sources said without getting into the details that “a workaround has been found and discussions are in an advanced stage” and an agreement could be reached “by autumn”. The final deal is likely to be signed in November.
The agreement on the fighter aircraft has been stuck because of differences in the work share between Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL). As the project is to have equal investment from each side, India has been insisting on parity in the work share. So far, both sides have invested $295 million for the preliminary design. India had some reservations on the engine and stealth characteristics.
India has requested Russia to let its pilots fly the T-50 prototypes currently under testing. A decision by Russia on this is expected shortly. India plans to induct 144 fighters and the entire project is expected to cost over $30 billion. The first batch of aircraft is expected to be handed over to the Russian Air Force in early 2017.