Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Indian Navy trying to upgrade Shishumar class subs




The story sounds all too familiar our top secret project now delayed resulting ina big gaping security hole. No I am not talking about Tejas or Arjun for once. I am talking about our "made in India" Scorpene class subs.Navy sources told agency "Our submarine fleet is depleting and numbers are expected to go down with the delay in the Scorpene project. Originally navy had plans of inducting the first Scorpene submarine by 2011 but due to MDL and Navy's incompetence the much coveted project P-75 is delayed. The first sub will only come out in 2015-16.
As we all know our submarines are outnumbered and outgunned by new Chinese and Pakistani submarines thus India is holding talks with Germany to upgrade the capabilities of its HDW underwater vessels. Discussions in this regard are being held between the two countries at the ongoing fifth Indo-German Defence Committee meeting. The talks are on with German officials to upgrade the existing fleet of four HDW submarines," they said.
The HDW submarines, also known as Shishumar class in the Indian Navy, were procured from Germany in the mid 80s and the last of it was inducted in 1990-91. These submarines are a lengthier and heavier Indian variant of the German HDW Type 209 submarine (designated Type 1500 by HDW). They were commissioned between 1986 and 1994. The first two vessels were built at HDW, while the remainder were built at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai under a technology transfer agreement. These submarines have a displacement of 1660 tons when surfaced, a speed of 22 knots (41 km/h), and a complement of 40 including eight officers.
Due to the delays in the project, the Government has decided to upgrade the existing fleet of Russian origin Kilo class and the German vessels. A few of the Kilo class submarines have already undergone upgrades in Russia and have been fitted with new weaponry and other superior sensors and systems. (Remember these are Russian upgrades so any talk of capability enhancement must be taken with a pinch of salt.)