India to buy three more French Scorpene submarines along with planned tender of six stealth submarines next year

NEW DELHI: Faced with an ageing underwater combat arm even as China and Pakistan bolster their fleets, India is now finalizing plans to order three more French Scorpene submarines after the first six are constructed at Mazagon Docks as well as issue the tender for six new-generation stealth submarines by next year. India is also steadily cranking up military force-levels and infrastructure in the strategically-located Andaman and Nicobar Command in a bid to effectively counter China's strategic moves in the IOR as well as ensure security of sea lanes converging towards Malacca Strait, as was reported by Times of India earlier. "The aim is to ensure the islands are not only well protected but also act as a strategic location for basing aircraft, warships and submarines. The proximity of A&N Islands to Malacca Strait makes them very strategic since they overlook busy sea lanes and choke points," said Navy chief Admiral Robin Dhowan.. On the underwater combat front, work is also underway to draw up technical parameters and select the shipyard for the construction of six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs), which got "acceptance of necessity" earlier this year. "The six SSNs will be constructed under the Make in India programme," said Admiral Dhowan. (Times of India)