Currently, India is one of the few countries in the world that owns nuclear submarines
India Today newspaper has just published an article stating some of the reasons that the US has not and will never sell nuclear submarines to the country – like the way Washington does with Australia. According to Indian media, the transfer of US nuclear submarine technology to Australia is “rare”, and it will be difficult for New Delhi to have a similar opportunity.
Currently, India is one of the few countries in the world that owns nuclear submarines, but the reality is quite harsh, India’s nuclear submarines are leased, not domestically built. India owns nine Kilo-class submarines, four Type 209 submarines and one Scorpene-class submarine – all of which are diesel-electric submarines. The only nuclear submarine that India owns is the Akula INS Chakra II, but this is under a Russian lease. India is also the only country in the world to rent this strategic weapon.
Given its close military relationship with Russia, India is unlikely to receive the same favors that the Americans give Australia. Despite the fact that India is classified by the US as an exception and will not be sanctioned by Washington when buying weapons from Moscow, it is still too far away for India to want to be transferred from the US to modern weapons technology.
In fact, the last time the US transferred technology to produce strategic weapons such as nuclear submarines to foreign countries, was in the 1950s, when Washington transferred technology to London. The US military generals themselves also said that the country’s transfer of nuclear submarine technology to Australia is “extremely rare” and “will never happen again”.
Observers said that with the current capabilities of the Indian Navy, it is still quite difficult to build a nuclear submarine by itself, even with technology transfer from abroad. It must be remembered that the domestic aircraft carrier is being perfected by India, which has been “struggling” for decades, but has not been successful.
In addition, the development of the navy is not necessarily part of India’s efforts, as in the current Indian Ocean, New Delhi does not seem to have a worthy opponent. Currently, India is tense with China and Pakistan, but the conflicts between these countries mainly take place in complicated border areas. Meanwhile at sea, the Indian Navy is having superior strength compared to neighboring countries. Therefore, having more nuclear submarines in service is only to prove that New Delhi is a big country, comparable to other powers in the world, but has little real combat value at the moment.