Skip to comments.Indian Nuclear submarine not a distant dream
Posted on 09/22/2007 9:00:45 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Nuclear submarine not a distant dream
Josy Joseph Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:29 IST
Two-decade project should be ready for sea trial in 2009
NEW DELHI: The defence establishment is making stunning progress in developing its underwater ability to launch nuclear missiles, the most assured means of launching weapons without enemy detection.
The development of a nuclear submarine and nuclear-capable missile would result in India joining an exclusive club of five countries. The most potent ability in the nuclear triad the other two being land and air based nuclear capability the underwater capability is much closer to realisation than known in public, informed several sources across the military establishment.
Three simultaneous developments are the reasons why optimism is brimming in military circles. First, the indigenous project called Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) is fast moving towards sea trial. Secondly, the submarine launched ballistic missile project named Sagarika is getting ready for a full-system test in a couple of months. And thirdly, a nuclear submarine leased from Russia is expected to join the Indian Navy by the middle of next year.
Sources said to stitch up last minute glitches in the ATV project, a team headed by the chief of Defence Research and Development Organisation, and comprising among others the head of the ATV project, are in Russia to firm up assistance. The ATV is believed to be close to the design of a Russian nuclear submarine, which India had leased in the late 80s for three years.
According to a source privy to the progress of the project, by 2009 the submarine would be ready for sea trials. Several sources in the military establishment have told DNA that Indias almost two-decade-old project is making progress quicker than ever. The land-based trials of its nuclear reactor, which would fuel the submarine, in Kalpakkam was successful. A hull for the submarine developed by Larson and Turbo is in Vishakapatnam, where the final integration would take place.
Meanwhile, a team of military scientists is getting ready for a test of Sagarika, now codenamed K15, a submarine launched ballistic missile which can be fired from ATV. The missile has a range of 300 kilometers and scientists are hopeful of extending it to 500 kilometers. The test would bring India closer to its military dream of completing the nuclear triad. The full-system test has to be carried out by January end, before the Bay of Bengal turns turbulent.
What will further add to the efforts would be the arrival of a Russian nuclear submarine on lease for India Navy. The Akula-II class nuclear submarine is expected to be handed to the Indian Navy in June next year.
The submarine would be on lease for a decade, and would be the second time that Indian Navy would get to actually use a submarine run on nuclear power. The first time was in 1988, when India leased for three years a Charlie-I class submarine named INS Chakra.
Cool. I wish Japan would get busy.
Any information yet on the design? According to the article, it will, supposedly, be based on the Charlie-I class of submarines.
Here are a few articles-won’t vouch for it in any way-
FORCE VOLUME 1 NO 12 AUGUST 2004
The ATV Saga
By Prasun K Sengupta
1 ) The first functional ATV will be launched by 2007 , It will be an SSGN and displacing some 6,500 tonnes and will be a derivative of Russias new Severodvinsk-class(yasen) SSGN.
2 ) The ATV will be a multirole platform and will be employed for carrying out long-distance interdiction and surveillance of both submerged targets as well as principal surface combatants, It will also facilitate Special Forces operations by covertly landing such forces ashore.
3 ) The ATV pressure hull will be fabricated with the HY-80 steel(sourced from Russia) as much experience was gained under the direction of P.C. Deb the then director of Naval Chemical and Metallurgical Laboratory.
4 ) The Project 670A Skat (Charlie-1 class ) was discarded by early 1990 in favor of a derived design from Yasen.Three countries are actively supplying the related technologies and weapons system off the shelf for the projected ATV fleet Russia , France and Israel.
5 ) The Prime minister heads the Steering and Funding Committee of the project which is monitored by the scientific adviser to the defence minister and DRDO chief currently Dr. V.K. Aatre , The ATV project Director is Vice Admiral D.S.P Varma , here are Six naval officers of the rank of rear admiral who runs the various segments of the programme such as weapons system, platform management system, combat management system, acoustic signature management and sonars, Integrated powerplant/Propulsion system and communication/electronic warfare while two other rear admirals head the two large ,state-owned manufacturing facilities.
6 ) One such facility is in Hyderabad to collaborate with the DRDO lab, BHEL for nuclear powerplants heat exchanger system and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd for special steel requirements , The second is a large ship building facility tucked behind High walls and barbed wires with a dry dock and boilers, at Vishakapatnam where the first ATV hull is being fabricated. with imported HY-80 steel.
7 ) In addition the Navy has Russian designed facility - The Special safety Service - at Vishakapatnam that can monitor the health of people working on the SSGN and the radiation leaks emanating from the vessel .there is also a small complex at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic research at Kalpakkam near Chennai.
8 ) The Two 90-megawatt pressurised water reactors (PWR) procured from Russia four years ago are dynamically tested both onshore and offshore.One of them will eventually be sealed into a 600-tonne titanium shell of about 10m in diameter that will be lowered into the ATV pressure hull in what will be a critical operation.
9 ) To support the project , several national universities and both public and private sector manufacturing companies have been employed on an ad hoc basis, including Larsen and Toubro Ltd for designing and fabricating the power plant modules, MDL for building the propulsion system modules , BEL for the platform sensors and communications system, TCS for integration of ATV combat and platform management system, which will be imported from Armaris of France and be identical to those installed on the 12 Scorpene-class diesel electric submarine (SSK) the navy plans to acquire in the future. Russian assistance has been substantial by way of off-the-shelf supply of the main reactors plus related structural parts and overall design inputs.
10 ) The ATV will feature double-hull construction ,dramatically increasing the reserve buoyancy by as much as three times over that of a single-hull vessel.Ballast tanks and other gear will be located between the inner and outer hulls and limber holes will be provided for the free-flooding sections between the hulls. The ATV pressure hull will have seven compartment and the standoff distance between the outer and inner hulls will be considerable,reducing the possibility of inner hull damage . The retractable masts viewed from bow to stern will include an optronic periscope , one surface search navigation radar and one low level air defence radar, radio and satellite communication antennae,plus one integrated electronic warfare suite. The ATV pressure hull will be rated for a diving depth to 600m , The SSGN will carry sufficient supplies for an endurance of 100 days and will be operated by a crew compliment of 70 , The outer hulls anechoic and vibration damping coatings along with other advanced quitening techniques will be supplied off the shelf by Russia. Present plans call for producing an initial two ATV with a projected fleet strength of five by 2025.
11 ) Initally navy planners wanted to design the ATV as a near-exact replica of the Project 670A Skat SSGN , but with a BARC designed and built PWR for propulsion , Three different types of indigenous reactor design were considered.A water-cooled water moderated reactor was designed by BARC and its core had 248-252 fuel assemblies. The fuel was uranium-aluminium-dispersed fuel (cermet) in steel or zirconium cladding. However the first design was rejected in late 1976, The second in 1979 and third in 1981. Despite this BARC succeeded in fabricating a pilot PWR in the early 1990, In late December 1995 it was reported that the DRDO had made considerable progress in the design of a pre-test capsule (PTC) of titanium steel, fabricated in 1994 by L&T at hazira in Gujarat.from there it was transferred to Kalpakkam , the PTC containing the BARC-built pilot PWR was to be have been installed in the ATV final shell, and had a hull dia of 10 meter, Both the PTC and the pilot PWR were unsuccessfully tested at Kalpakkam in Nov-Dec 1995, failures were caused by several integration and fabrication problems , In June 1996 the programme reportedly suffered further setbacks following additional failed tests of PWR. Problems in fabricating the containment vessel also occurred.
12 ) On 5 October 2000 after India and Russia inked an agreement on a news blackout on sensitive information exchanges in the area of defense and nuclear co-operation and appointed watchdogs to enforce compliance with the new agreement.Moscow agreed to supply an initial two VM-5 PWR and related propulsion and machinery off-the shelf, These arrived at Vishakapatnam in late 2000.The ATV will have double layer silencing system for the power train , The main propulsion machinery will consist of VM-5, with an OK-650b high density reactor core rated at 90mWand a GT3A turbine developing 35mW , Two auxiliary diesels rated at 750hp will provide emergency power,the nuclear propulsion system will drive a sever-blade fixed- pitch propeller and provide a maximum submerged speed of 33 knots and a surface speed of 10 knots , A reserve propeller system, powered by two motors rated at 370kw, will provide a speed of 4 knots.
13 ) The PWR fuel will be uranium-aluminum dispersed fuel (cermet) in steel or zirconium cladding, The main challenge faced for the design of certain safety features in submarine nuclear reactors is the design of control rods insertion and withdrawal mechanism.Throughout 1980, India tried in vain to buy a rod worth minimiser (RWM) used by reactor operators to guide and monitor the proper sequence for the withdrawal and insertion of control rods, The control rod technology for use with the RWM has since been developed indigenously.
14 ) The ATV will pack quite a punch with six torpedo tubes of 533mm diameter , which will be able to fire wake-homing , acoustic , and high-speed wire guided torpedoes reportedly the Russian TEST-71MKE and TEST-71ME-NK model and the Franco-Italian Black Shark, along with eight vertically launched missiles launched under water from launcher cells mounted aft of the SSGN conning tower, The principal conventional offensive armament of the ATV will comprise up to 12 3M-14E subsonic cruise missile for both antiship strikes and land attack developed by Russias Ekaterinburg-based Novator Experimental Machine Design Bureau. equipped with a active radar seeker developed by ST Petersburg-based Radar-MMS the 3M-14E will be fired from the ATVs 533mm torpedo tubes and have a range of 275 km , The missile incidentally was first unveiled in New Delhi at the Defexpo-2004 early last february.
15 ) The ATV will also have the ability to carry up to eight ready to launch vertically launched Strategic cruise missile each with a range of 800 Km that will be armed with nuclear warhead, Although DRDOs ADE and DARE have since 1990 been trying to develop such a cruse missile called SAGARIKA it was decided in November-2003 that the ADE and DARE would co-developwith RAFAEL of Israel such a cruise missile and its vertical launched canister,inertial guidance, launch-control and solid-fuel rocket booster systems.The miniaturized nuclear warhead for the missile will however be developed solely by BARC and DRDO. The nuclear-tipped missile will be kept disassembled on-shore in peacetime and be deployed on the ATV only during extreme national emergencies
CMS and SENSORS
16 ) The ATV combat management system (CMS) will be a derivative of the SUBTICS system, developed by ARMARIS for the Scorpene class SSK, The periscope with an optronic mast will be supplied by SAGEM of France.The Mid/LOW Frequency active/passive sonar suite is now being developed by DRDO under its PANCHENDRIYA programme, The definative sonar model called USHUS is being developed by DRDOs Kochis- based NPOL and will be series produced by state owned BEL, Underwater Omnidirectional transducers have been developed by DRDOs Pune based ARDE , The transducers are 60mm hollow spherical elements fabricated from lead zirconate titanate type-4 material. The integrated electronic warfare system of Israels 4CH(V)2 TIMNEX II while Elta electronics will provide the I-Band surface search radar. The ATV VLF communication suite will be built by BEL.
An Interim Solution
17 ) For training the first type rated crew for manning the first ATV , the navy has decided to lease for a three-year period from Rosoboronexport FSUE and at a cost of US300 Million , One project 971A (Shuka-B) or Akula-II class SSGN . This SSGN will be 110m long and displace upto 12,770 tonnes, It will have a maximum speed of 35 knots submerged with a maximum diving depth of 600m, The leased SSGN will be armed with TEST-71ME-NK and TEST -71MKE electric remote control homing torpedoes plus the KALIBRPLE weapon system and will include 12 3M-14E and Novtar built 3m54E Klub-S supersonic anti-ship missile , These missile will be launched from the SSGN six 533mm launch tubes . A 250 strong group of navy personnel has been undergoing type conversion on an Akula II class SSGN at Komsomolsk-on-Amur since late last year.
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Israel may help India in N-sub project
Jerusalem, December 10
Israel has expressed willingness to cooperate with India in its nuclear submarine programme, Israeli defence sources said.
This understanding was reached during the visit of a high-level technical team from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) headed by the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister, Dr V.K. Aatre, towards the end of last month, the sources said.
The development could possibly mean an end to Indo-Russian cooperation in this field as Israel rapidly progresses towards becoming Indias main source for defence procurements. India had leased for three years a Soviet nuclear-powered attack submarine, INS Chakra in 1988, but returned it after the expiry of the lease. It had in 2000 announced new negotiations with Russia. UNI
Thanks! That is a good deal of information to digest.