The Indian Navy is planning to boost its defence spending by 74% in the next financial year to 31 March 2013 in a bid to procure additional ships and submarines as well as pay for its aircraft carrier programmes.

Around $4.77bn has been allotted to the Indian Navy, up from $2.74bn last year, following an 18% increase in the overall defence spending.

India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told lawmakers while announcing the budget in Parliament that the allocation was based on present needs, and any further requirement will be met.

An Indian Navy official told Defense News that the increase in the Navy’s defence spending comes at a time when costs for new ships and for the former Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov have increased from the originally planned allocation.

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The costs for the Russian aircraft carrier increased from $1bn to $1.6bn and the French Scorpene submarine programme rose by about $1bn while its domestic warship-building programme have also seen a rise in input costs.

The Navy is also seeking to float a tender worth more than $11bn for the procurement of six conventional submarines with air-independent propulsion technology.

Currently, the Indian Navy is developing 46 warships that include frigates, destroyers and stealth destroyers.

Under Project 17-A, Mazagon Dock (MDL) and state-owned Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) are building seven stealth frigates worth $10bn while GRSE is also building four corvettes for about $2.2bn under a separate project.

MDL has also been contracted under Project 15-A to construct three destroyers worth $3.5bn and another four destroyers at a cost of about $3bn.