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India Company Seeks Russian Help to Build Nuclear Submarines, Stealth Ships

Russian side says this is very much a possibility but point out any decision has to be made by Russian authorities

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India company Reliance Infrastructure, which has recently acquired Pipav Shipyard - India's largest defense shipyard, is scouting for  a Russian partner to help it manufacture military ships for the India Navy, Economic Times reports.

The move comes on the heels of a plan by India Cabinet Committee on Security to order six locally manufactured nuclear-powered submarines and seven stealth warships. Reliance Infrastructure intends to pursue the contract aggressively and needs foreign technological expertise for added credibility of its bid.

India has already built submarines in the past but never nuclear-powered submarines.

The Russian side - which is already leasing a nuclear-powered submarine to India - has confirmed it is very interested in cooperation and may potentially even be interested in using the capacity of the Indian shipyards to build more ships for Russia. Alexander Khramchikhin, the deputy director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, told Lenta.ru:

“The major problem that we face today in the construction of ships, both surface and underwater, is shortage of production capacity,” Khramchikhin said.

“Thus, in theory, we may be interested in building surface ships and submarines in Indian shipyards, especially considering that the Indians build their own submarines.

That is, in case there is space, because the Indians are going to build six non-nuclear submarines equipped with air-independent power plants. But that is another question,” he said.

Meanwhile the President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Captain 1st Rank Konstantin Sivkov doubts such cooperation between private entities is possible - except as a cover for a joint state project:

“Between Russia and India, there is an agreement on military-technical cooperation. Our countries have a wealth of experience in joint development of arms and military equipment, for example, the anti-ship missiles ‘BrahMos’.

India seeks to build its Navy independently without purchasing ready ships from other countries. Russia is rich in technologies, so the desire of India to establish a joint venture with Russia for the construction of nuclear-powered ships and surface ships of the latest projects is only natural.” 

“It is clear that the joint venture will be organized not with a private, but with the state enterprise. Should some private enterprise be created, it will be merely a cover for a state company, nothing more."

Igor Korotchenko, Chief editor of ‘National Defence’ magazine very much agrees:

“It is clear that such decisions belong to the competence of heads of state and, undoubtedly, no company can individually conduct such negotiations on its own behalf or on behalf of the country,”

Russian commentators also point out that technology transfer to India is probable since India Navy serves as a counterweight to the US navy in the Indian Ocean, but it is a sensitive issue because any such move unnerves China.


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