The Indian Government has approved approximately $16bn worth of new projects for the Indian Navy, including the construction of stealth frigates and nuclear-powered submarines.
Seven frigates and six submarines will bolster the navy’s overall deterrence potential in the Indian Ocean Region, which is a key area of strategic interest spanning from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait.
The Times of India reported that Project-17A, valued at more than $8bn, will include the construction of four stealth frigates at Mazagon Docks (MDL) in Mumbai and three at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata.
India plans to sign a deal with both companies with an initial payment of $642m.
Construction on the nuclear-powered submarines is expected to be carried out at the ship building centre in Vizag, where the navy’s first three nuclear vessels are currently undergoing construction.
Both defence shipyards are already prepared for the project, as it is a follow on to the 6,100t INS Shivalik, INS Satpura and INS Sahyadari stealth frigates built by MDL.
The Indian Navy currently has one nuclear submarine, INS Chakra, which has been leased from Russia for ten years. It also operates 13 ageing diesel submarines.
Equipped with a 300km range, Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles and advanced torpedoes, INS Chakra is used to provide defence to a fleet at sea.