Submarine Arm of India

Conventional Submarines of India

Project 75-I

  • 6 Scorpene class submarines are being constructed with Transfer of Technology from France
  • The 6 Scorpene class submarines will be the core of India’s conventional attack submarine arm.

6 Submarines of Project 75-I

  • INS Kalavari – Inducted in 2017
  • INS Kandheri – To be inducted in May 2019
  • INS Karanj – Under trials, to be inducted by end of 2019
  • INS Vela – To be launched for trials in 2019
  • INS Vagir – Being manufactured and assembled.
  • INS Vagsheer – Being manufactured and assembled.


  • The submarines built under the project will be capable of
  • Anti submarine warfare
  • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions
  • Underwater mining operations
  • Note: While the first four submarines will be conventional, the two will be equipped with the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system in order to stay underwater for longer duration
  • The air-independent propulsion system will enable the submarines to stay submerged for longer duration and thus increase their operational range

Nuclear-Powered Submarines

Nuclear submarines can be classified in to 2 categories namely SSN and SSBN

SSN: (Submersible Ship Nuclear)

  • SSNs are attack submarines
  • They are propelled by nuclear power.
  • They are capable of launching conventional weapons like torpedoes and cruise missiles

SSBN: (Submersible Ship Ballistic Nuclear)

  • SSBNs are also propelled by nuclear power.
  • They are usually equipped with nuclear weapons like ballistic missiles.
  • Therefore, they are usually used as deterrents and not as attack submarines.
  • Nuclear-powered submarine fleet of India

SSN Fleet


1st nuclear-powered submarine to be inducted to Indian Navy.


  • 2nd nuclear submarine to be inducted into Indian Navy.
  • It was inducted in 2012
  • It is an advanced version of Chakra I with following features
  • It can displace twice the amount of water compared to Chakra I, thereby higher operating depths.
  • Higher speed of 30 knots
  • The onboard nuclear reactor produces double the power.
  • It has more advanced weapon system including tube-launched missiles.
  • Chakra II is deployed with the Eastern Naval Command.


  • India and Russia have signed agreement for leasing of Akula class nuclear powered submarine Chakra III for $3 billion for at least 10 years.
  • Powered by 190 MW nuclear power.

SSBN Fleet


  • Under the Advanced Technology Vehicle programme, India has indigenously-built Arihant, SSBN.
  • India’s 1st nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine
  • Displacement capacity of 6,000 tonnes.
  • Powered by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor with enriched uranium.
  • Formally inducted on November 2019 marking the Nuclear Triad capability of India.
  • Capable of launching K-15 Missile with a range of 750 km and K-4 ICBM with a range of 3,500 km.


  • 2nd Arihant-class submarine built under Advanced Technology Vessel Program.
  • Powered by a pressurised water reactor
  • Maximum speed of 12–15 knots (22–28 km/h) when on surface and 24 knots (44 km/h) when submerged
  • 4 launch tubes can carry up to 12 K-15 Sagarika missiles or 4 four of the under-development K-4 missiles


  • Anti Submarine Warfare aircraft, which India plans to acquire from USA.
  • It is a boost to maritime ISR capabilities (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance)
  • Long-range maritime patrol aircraft capable of undersea surveillance from a height of upto 40000 ft.
  • It has operational speed of 450 mph and a range of 4,500 nautical miles.
  • It has an operational time of upto 10 hours.
  • It is equipped with Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars capable of engaging multiple targets simultaneously.
  • Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD) radar will help locate submarines in deep seas.
  • The India-version of Poseidon 8 is equipped with Harpoon Block-II missiles, MK-54 lightweight torpedoes to enhance its anti-submarine warfare capability.
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