The Indian Navy has approached the Narendra Modi government for approval to make changes in the Cabinet Committee of Security (CCS) approved 30-year submarine building plan by replacing six conventional attack vessels with nuclear powered platforms in the context of changing strategic scenario in Indo-Pacific.
The 30-year submarine plan was approved by Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in July 1999 for induction of 24 diesel attack submarines. As of now, the Indian Navy has 12 ageing conventional attack submarines plus three new Kalvari class submarines, first of which was commissioned in December 2017 as part of the ₹23,652 crore project approved way back in 2005.
It is understood that the navy has sought the Cabinet approval to allow it new submarine force levels of 18 conventional diesel attack submarines including those with air independent propulsion and six nuclear attack submarines or SSNs.
This change has been sought keeping in mind the rapid increase of nuclear submarine arsenal by People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and to protect the Indo-Pacific from future domination by the adversary.
As of now, the India has one Akula class submarine INS Chakra on lease from Russian Federation and one ballistic missile firing submarine INS Arighat.
The two are under the Strategic Forces Command. All the ballistic missile firing submarines also called SSBNs are outside the purview of Indian Navy and with Strategic Forces Command.