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'India to acquire six more submarines'

India will soon float global tenders to acquire six submarines ,says Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta.

india Updated: May 09, 2008 14:22 IST

India will soon float global tenders to acquire six submarines but would like to see indigenous development of this technology in the future, Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said in Mumbai on Friday.

These six submarines would be in addition to the Scorpene submarines, which the Indian navy is expected to acquire soon.

"In accordance with the plan to keep a certain number of submarines in the force, we will be acquiring six of one type (Scorpene) and six of another type," Mehta said at a press conference, marking the end of a two-day-long naval commanders' conference held in Mumbai.

The development of Scorpene submarines had been delayed and it was now time to look for a second type of submarine, he said.

Mehta said, "We need to have indigenous capability for building these submarines and Indian Navy has been a strong proponent of indigenous development. Therefore, we would expect that our shipyards take over the technology from some of these companies and thereafter build it themselves."

The submarines for which tenders would be floated could also have vertical missile launch capabilities, he added.

The Indian Navy's requirement was small and, therefore, it presently could obtain the submarines from abroad, the admiral said, adding the navy was also hopeful of obtaining nuclear powered submarines in the future.

"The nuclear powered submarines could be equipped either with nuclear or conventional weapons. The present nuclear submarine project was being developed by Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO)," he added.