Indian Navy along with Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Steel Authority of India (SAIL) have tied up to develop a special grade steel for indigenously designed nuclear powered stealth submarines.
“This is an achievement as other exporting nations that produce the special steel were either unwilling or unable to continue selling it to India. In the absence of the domestic R&D initiative, India’s indigenous submarine development program would have moved back by several years,” senior officers from DRDO were quoted as saying by Financial Express news daily Wednesday.
The special steel will be exclusively used for underwater projects as it can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degree Celsius. Code-named DMR292A, is a military grade more sturdier steel. These features make the steel almost unbreakable and can be bent to suit the requirements of the armed forces.
Another variant of the steel, called DMR249B, was made at the Alloy Steel Plant in Durgapur. It is used in the repair of the Indian Navy’s Russian-origin Kilo-class submarines and to build anti-submarine warfare corvette, the INS Kamorta.
“The special steel has twice the price of other grades of industrial-purpose metal but comes at almost half the cost of the imported variety. This would help in saving foreign exchange,” an unnamed SAIL executive was quoted as saying by the news daily.
SAIL is also producing armored plates for Russian-origin T-72 and T-90 tanks, the indigenous Main Battle Tank ‘Arjun’ and for mine-protected vehicles.