Russian shipbuilders are gearing up for India's $11.8 billion “stealth” diesel-electric submarines tender, with plans to offer its fourth-generation Amur-1650 boats, in order to accommodate Brahmos missiles and an Indian-made air-independent propulsion system.
“We have considered arming Amur-1650 with vertical launchers, and have made significant progress in designing these launchers for our Club-S missile systems,” Igor Molchanov, chief designer at St. Petersburg-based Rubin was quoted as saying.
Molchanov also said it would be possible to place Brahmos missiles and the Indian-made air-independent propulsion system on Amur subs if requested, which will not affect the overall performance of the submarine.
He added that the Russian system was more efficient and safe compared to the Indian model as it does not require supplies of hydrogen to be carried on board the submarine.
The Amur-1650 has an armament of multirole torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, and can also effectively engage land targets with advanced cruise missiles.
France, Germany and Spain are also taking part in the tender, which the Indian Defense Ministry is expected to open in the near future.
India is currently building six Scorpene submarines at the Mazgaon Dockyards Limited under a deal with France’s DCNS. However, the Indian side says it needs submarines “with better stealth capability, improved detection range and [improved] combat management system.”
According to the Indian navy, the six new vessels must have land-attack capabilities as well as air-independent propulsion, which substantially enhances a diesel-electric submarine's capability to stay underwater without frequently surfacing to get oxygen to recharge its batteries.