India’s SSN: Waiting period 15 years
The Chief of the Naval Staff Sunil Lanba while speaking to a media outlet, revealed that development of Indian nuclear attack submarine project which was sanctioned only earlier this year will take over 10 years to mature and as per latest media reports, Indian Navy has been told to fast-track the development and deliver the first submarine in less than 15 years from now.
Navy’s submarine design bureau which is in charge of the design and development of Six classified nuclear attack submarine project is still working out on staff requirements of the submarines and evaluating technological challenges with all stakeholders before it starts work on the design.
India’s India’s Arihant class of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines took over 30 years of research and development before the first submarine was ready.
Local development of Nuclear Arihant and Conventional Kalvari Class submarine in India has created enough technical manpower and expertise in India that now India is planning to launch first of the lead class nuclear attack submarine in next Seven years.
After mastering technology to develop Nuclear ballistic missile Submarines, India keeping in mind Chinese aggressive moves in the Indian ocean and their ability to chuck out submarines at much faster rate has selected easiest and logical route of using Arihant-class submarine has a template to develop a new Nuclear attack class submarines.
France has agreed to help India in development of Non-Nuclear technologies for the nuclear attack submarine in lieu of orders for the Six Diesel-electric submarines under Project-75I and Russia to have made a similar un-disclosed offer if it bags Project-75 I.
SSNs are as important as SSBNs as they can blockade important sea routes, denying the enemy access to important resources in an event of war, and shadow enemy ships.SSN submarine have to defend the Carrier Groups , have to stay deep in the water, to search both underwater and surface targets, chase enemy subs, launching attacks, and many other combat duties, India has the technology of constructing missile submarines, Arihant is an good example, of course Russians helped in several key issues to achieve victory in the ATV program.
SSN’s will feature smaller cruise missiles launch tubes in their hump which might be able to carry 6-7 Sub-sonic cruise missile per launch tube. To prepare submarine for conventional missions, Internally submarine will need to include extensive modifications to its mission planning, command, control, communications and prep areas.
Since Nuclear attack Submarine are required to bypass an enemy’s anti-access/area denial capability and deploy its subsonic cruise missiles towards high-value targets of the rivals, submarines will require a much higher degree of stealthiness then a Nuclear ballistic missile Submarines.
SSN’s are also in charge of other conventional missions like surveillance, electronic eavesdropping and even anti-surface, anti-submarine and anti-mine warfare which all requires improved attack capabilities and superior next-generation weapons.
India may slowly step in to the elite SSN club, India plans to operate some three Carrier group along with four Amphibious strike group, each of the invasion group needs at least a single SSN for under water missions.