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05:15 AM, June 26, 2019
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India's $14.4B Nuclear-Powered Sub Project Kicks Off
INS Arihant

India's $14.4 billion (INR 1 lakh Crore) project to build six indigenous nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) for its navy has kicked off after the government green signaled the project four years ago, with work on special alloy meant for the hull having begun.

A scale model is likely to be tested soon as part of the design process, ET reported Monday. These scale model tests will be critical to check development, accuracy and quick success would mean that the Directorate of Naval Design (Submarine Design Group) is on the right track.

The project to build advanced nuclear submarines designed for long range underwater patrols and armed with conventional weapons has been granted over $14.4 million (INR 100 crore) seed money by the government for the initial phase with officials predicting a development period that is expected to stretch beyond 2025. 

"Considerable progress has been made in the design phase of the new boats with a scale model likely to be fabricated and tested shortly," sources told ET.

Defence Public Sector Unit Mishra Dhatu Nigam (MIDHANI) is working on the hull.

Details of the new, more powerful nuclear reactor, which is being designed for the programme are not yet known.

"While lessons learnt from the Arihant submarine build are being incorporated, a totally new material will be used for the SSN project given the unique requirements of the Navy for depth and speed," the sources added.

In addition, India inked a deal to lease a mothballed nuclear-powered Akula-1 class submarine from Russia for over $3 billion (INR 21,000 crore) in March of this year.

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