India and Russia could work together on the next generation of submarines, according to the Russian export agency's deputy head.
Short-term, the two nations may co-develop an air-independent power system for Russia's Amur 1650 Class submarines but, out of this, further projects could develop.
These programmes hinge on the Indian Navy's ultimate new submarine choice, with four designs presently in the running to win an $11.8bn contract. Besides Russia's Amur submarine, these include France's Scorpene, Germany's Type 214 and Spain's S-80.
Speaking today (27 March) at the DefExpo 2012 arms fair event in New Delhi, Rosoboronexport's Viktor Komardin described the Amur's chances of winning the Indian submarine contract as "good."
"Russia is currently completing tests of a new air-independent propulsion system, which could be installed not only on the Amur 1650 but on jointly-developed boats", he explained, adding: "This is a critical factor for the Indians."
Russian Amur Submarine
The Russian Amur submarine started a naval test programme two years ago and, thanks to its propulsion system, can spend over 25 days underwater, submerged at a depth of around 300 metres. Equipped with multirole torpedoes and Klub missiles, it can strike both land- and sea-based targets and it also has the ability to carry and launch cruise missiles, like the joint Russian-Indian Brahmos design.
The Amur has a 20 knot cruise speed, can carry up to 35 naval personnel and was conceived by the Rubin Central Design Bureau of Naval Technology, which used the noise-suppressed Kilo Class diesel-electric submarine as a template.
Indian and Russian Submarines
Data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) earlier this month labelled India the top global arms importer since, in 2011, it figured in no less than 10 per cent of the world's weapons acquisition deals.
If progressed, the Indian and Russian submarine plans would, therefore, join on to a lengthy list of arms programmes in which the nation's defence officials are presently involved. Key among them is the multirole combat jet contract, tentatively awarded to the Dassault Rafale earlier this year but now being finalised.
There's also the prospect of the Indian Air Force purchasing 75 Pilatus PC-7 Turbotrainers from Switzerland and six air-to-air refuelling aircraft (either the Russian Il-78MK or the Airbus A330 MRTT), to name but two further examples.
Image copyright Black leon at ru.wikipedia - illustrates Lada Class Submarine and used solely for representational purposes
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