For Indian Navy, 6 nuclear-powered submarines take priority over 3rd aircraft carrier

The Indian Navy has informed the Narendra Modi government that the induction of six nuclear-powered submarines would take priority over a third heavy aircraft carrier discussed earlier to counter the rapid expansion of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and dominate the Indian Ocean, people familiar with the matter said.

According to South Block officials, the Indian Navy told the country’s national security planners at the Combined Commanders Conference this month that the plan to build the nuclear-powered attack submarines or SSNs should take priority over the project to build a third aircraft carrier (also called indigenous aircraft carrier 2). It is understood that the Navy will seek “acceptance of necessity” or AON approval from the government on the submarine project soon as China has developed the capacity to produce 12,000-tonne Renhai class destroyers in just five years.

While even Pakistan’s Agosta 90B submarine, the only one of the five that are operational, can make its way to the Bay of Bengal with an intrepid crew, the SSN class of submarines, carrying a conventional missile and weapon systems, is only limited in range by food supplies.

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