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Indian Navy to strengthen its under-water capabilities

India's first nuclear powered submarine 'INS Arihant'. A Brahmand photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Seeking to enhance its fleet of nuclear and conventional submarines through several multi-billion dollar deals, the Navy has appointed an officer to look after the acquisition and planning of its underwater vessels.

"Rear Admiral M T Moraes will take over as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Submarines) at the naval headquarters here Friday," the Navy said in a release.

The appointment assumes significance as the post was not being filled for the last many years and comes at a time when the Navy is planning to induct Russian Akula Class nuclear submarines, indigenously-built Arihant Class nuclear submarines and is looking to procure six Project-75I conventional submarines in the near future.

ACNS (SM) looks after perspective planning and acquisition of submarines for the Indian Navy, the release said.

The Navy is looking forward to strengthening its under-water capabilities in view of the increasing capabilities of Pakistani Navy and the presence of Chinese vessels in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

The cost of the acquisition for the six P-75I submarines is expected to be more than Rs 50,000 crore.

In the recent times, the Pakistani Navy has inducted three of its Agosta 90B class submarines from Pakistan.

India currently operates a fleet of Russian-origin Kilo Class and German-origin HDW submarines and is mulling over inducting the first of its six Scorpene submarine in 2015.

Under its 30 year plan, the Navy is looking to induct 24 conventional submarines along with more than three nuclear submarines of the Arihant Class.

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