With a total of 48 submarines on order in export deals by the end of 2015 and other orders that include Australian, Indonesian and Indian submarine contracts coming up this year, submarine sales are expect to grow significantly.
The advent of submarine technology now offers underwater endurance lasting several weeks and is equipped with ling-range anti-ship missiles and torpedoes and land-attack missiles.
These capabilities increase their effectiveness as area-denial weapons and allow for stealth attacks on land targets. Between 2006 and 2015 the growing and highly competitive export market for submarines was completely dominated by China, France, Germany, Russia, South Korea and Sweden.
However, they were joined by Japan in 2015 when it submitted a bid to an Australian tender for 12 submarines. The United States and the United Kingdom currently produce only nuclear-propelled submarines, which they do not offer for export.
In 2011–15, 16 submarines were exported. Germany supplied 3 submarines to Greece, 2 each to Colombia and Israel, and 1 each to Italy and South Korea. Russia supplied 4 submarines to Viet Nam and 1 to India, while Sweden supplied 2 to Singapore, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report Monday.
Germany is to deliver 6 to Turkey, 5 to South Korea, 4 to Egypt, 2 to Singapore and 1 each to Greece, Israel and Italy. Russia is scheduled to transfer 2 each to Algeria and Viet Nam, the report stated.
France is to deliver 6 to India and 5 to Brazil. China is scheduled to transfer 8 to Pakistan and 2 to Bangladesh, while South Korea is to deliver 3 to Indonesia.
India’s INS Arihant, the first of five nuclear missile submarines or SSBNs planned for induction, has undergone deep sea dives off Vishakhapatnam and is ready for commissioning. The Indian Navy's Submarine Design Bureau is also presently working on a new class of nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs) that it hopes to induct within the next 15 years. The plan is to build at least six SSNs in India, with financial sanction given last year for the project that could cost upwards of Rs 90,000 crore.
India has also signed an agreement to refit its four submarines for INR 5000 crore with Russia and will be sending the first submarine for the refit in June this year. India is also in talks with Russia to lease a new nuclear attack submarine unlike in the past when older vessels were refurbished and handed over.
Britain ordered for four new trident nuclear submarines to replace the existing fleet in October last year.
According to Thanh Nien News, Viet Nam received its fifth submarine from Russia in the beginning of this month.