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Indian Submarines and Naval Ships for UPSC Exam

Project 75 India

  • P75I was first cleared in 2007, but lay dormant until now after undergoing numerous changes.
  • The P75I project is part of a 30-year submarine building plan that ends in 2030.
  • The project cost is about Rs. 45,000 crore.
  • As part of this plan, India was to build 24 submarines — 18 conventional submarines and six nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) — as an effective deterrent against China and Pakistan.
  • This project envisages the construction of six conventional submarines with better sensors and weapons and the Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP).
  • The project has been cleared under the strategic partnership model.


  • In 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Security had approved a ‘30-Year Plan for Indigenous Submarine Construction’. It was to develop two production lines on which six submarines would be built each named Project 75 and Project 75 (I) with foreign submarine makers.
  • These two projects will replace ageing Sindhughosh and Shishumar class submarines of Indian Navy, which numbered around 13.
  • The submarines in the P75 Scorpene-Class are powered by the conventional diesel-electric propulsion system.
  • The first Scorpene submarine, Kalvari, was commissioned in 2017 and it would go for a normal refit after six years in 2023, during which time the Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) would be installed.
  • AIP technology is being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to provide submarines long-range and extended endurance capabilities undersea.
  • Second Scorpene Khanderi was inducted in September 2019.

The third Scorpene submarine, Karanj, will be delivered to the Indian Navy by December 2020.

  • The remaining submarines (Vela, Vagir, and Vagsheer) in the series are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials.

Air-independent propulsion (AIP)

  • AIP is any marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen.
  • It can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.


  • P 28 is a project under which four Anti Submarine Warships have to be built indigenously in India by Garden Reach Shipbuilders And Engineers (GRSE) , Kolkata.
  • Project 28 was approved in 2003, with construction of the lead ship, INS Kamorta commencing on 12 August 2005.
  •  Three of the four corvettes, INS Kamorta , INS Kadmatt and INS Kiltan were commissioned in 2014, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
  •  INS Kavaratti is under construction and slated to be completed by end of 2017.
  • The warships are named after the islands in the Lakshadweep archipelago.
  • The Kamorta class corvettes are intended to succeed the Kora-class corvette by precedence and Abhay-class corvette by role.
  • Project 28’s objective was to enhance localization and development of warship construction industry in India.

Project 15B

  • Project 15B is a class of stealth guided missile destroyers currently under construction for the Indian Navy.
  • It is also known as the Visakhapatnam class.

The class comprises four ships

  • INS Visakhapatnam
  • INS Mormugao
  • INS Imphal
  • INS Porbandar
  • All of the destroyers are being built by the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
  • These ships have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi.
  • The destroyers are an improved version of the Kolkata-class (Project 15A) and will feature enhanced stealth characteristics.


  • The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and manoeuvrability.
  • Enhanced stealth features and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect.
  • P15B ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters.

Akula Class – Attack Submarine


  • Conventional Submarines: These are the ones which are powered by electric motors and batteries.
    E.g. Project-75 Class Submarines
  • Nuclear Powered Ballistic Submarines: These are powered by nuclear fuel, thereby capable of operating underwater for longer durations. Primary role of such submarines is to provide strategic deterrence.
    E.g. INS Arihant
  • Nuclear Powered and Armed Submarines (SSN): These marines have unlimited endurance and high speeds and are armed with cruise missiles and heavyweight torpedoes, thus complementing carrier battle groups.
    E.g. Akula Class Submarines.

Akula Class Submarines

  • The Akula Class Submarine uses a nuclear reactor for propulsion, allowing it to remain underwater for an extended period of time which makes its detection impossible.
  • This class of Submarine can be used for multiple tasks like hunting enemy submarines, intelligence surveillance etc.

INS Chakra

  • INS Chakra is a Russia-made, nuclear-propelled, hunter-killer akula class submarine.
  • INS Chakra is one of the quietest nuclear submarines around, with noise levels next to zero.
  • INS Chakra has been taken on lease from Russia for 10 years and would provide the Navy the opportunity to train personnel and operate such nuclear-powered vessels.
  • The INS Chakra joined the Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam in 2012.

INS Arihant

  • INS Arihant is the first of five nuclear missile submarines planned for induction.
  • It is to be equipped with K 15 (or BO-5) shortrange missiles with a range of over 700 km and the K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.
  • At present, the only nuclear – powered platform in service is the INS Chakra, a Akula class SSN on lease from Russia.
  • The induction of INS Arihant marks the completion of India’s nuclear triad.
  • A nuclear triad refers to the nuclear weapons delivery via land, air and sea i.e. land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), strategic bombers, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

INS Kiltan

  • It is the indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette.
  • It has been recently inducted into the Indian Navy.
  • It is the latest indigenous warship after Shivalik Class, Kolkata Class and sister ships INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt.
  • It is India’s first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features.
  • The ship derives its name from one of the islands in Aminidivi group of the Lakshadweep and Minicoy group of islands.

Losharik (AS-12 or AS-31)

  • It is a highly advanced Nuclear powered submarine of Russia.
  • This week a fire accident was reported on the submarine within the Russian territorial waters.
  • It is a deep-diving special missions ship, operated by the Russian Navy.
  • It is capable of withstanding high pressures at great depths, enabling it to survey the ocean floor.
  • It’s interior hull is built using titanium spheres which makes the vessel dive up to 6000 metres. A regular submarine can go to the depth of only 600 metres.
  • It is generally carried under the hull of a larger submarine and is capable of releasing a smaller submarine itself.
  • According to Russian military the submarine was carrying out ‘bathymetric measurements’ or underwater mapping.
  • But the the US and its allies feared that Russia might be developing new, secretive ways to tap or even cut undersea Fiber-optic cables that carry transatlantic Internet traffic.
  • In recent years, U.S. and British military officials have warned that Russian submarines have been spotted close to the cables.

INS Shivalik and INS Sindhukirti

  • These are the Indian Navy’s indigenously conceived design and constructed frontline stealth frigate.
  • INS Shivalik is the Shivalik-class advanced, stealth-minded, guided-missile frigate warship.
  • It is the first stealth warship built by India at  Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai s part of the Indian Navy’s Project 17.
  • It is equipped with a wide range of electronics and sensors.
  • In addition, it uses HUMSA (hull-mounted sonar array), ATAS/Thales Sintra towed array systems.
  • It is equipped with a mix of Russian, Indian and Western weapon systems.
  • It also has improved stealth and land attacking features over the preceding Talwar-class frigates.
  • It is the first Indian navy ship to use the CODOG (COmbined Diesel Or Gas) propulsion system.
  • INS Sindhukirti is the seventh Sindhughosh-class, diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy, built at the Admiralty Shipyard and Sevmash in the Soviet Union.
  • It is among the oldest operational submarines in the Navy.
  • It has been virtually rebuilt with modern sensors weapons and systems which make it “a hole in the water” for the Navy.

INS Sagardhwani

  • It is the Oceanographic research vessel of DRDO.
  • It is maintained and operated by the Indian Navy.
  • It is a ‘Marine Acoustic Research Ship’ (MARS) designed and developed by ‘Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory’ (NPOL), Kochi.
  •  NPOL is a premier systems laboratory of DRDO.
  • The ship is fitted with state-of-the-art equipments like the latest wave height measuring radars, marine radio etc.
  • It is exclusively used for the scientific and research programmes of NPOL.

INS Tarkash

  • It is a state-of-the-art stealth frigate of the Indian Navy.
  • It is the 5th Talwar-class frigate constructed for the Indian Navy, built at the Yantar shipyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.
  • It is equipped with a versatile range of weapons and sensors capable of addressing threats in all three dimensions.

INS Nilgiri

  • INS Nilgiri is the first ship of the Project-17A.
  • Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors.
  • The P17A frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability.
  • These frigates are being built using integrated construction methodology.

India’s Aircraft Carrier

  • Currently, Indian Navy opera only a single carrier, the 44,000-tonne INS Vikramaditya bought from Russia.
  • INS Vikrant, is an indigenous aircraft carrier being built in Cochin Shipyard.
  • It is a 40, 000 tonne carrier and expected to join service by 2021.
  • INS Vishal, proposed to be India’s 2nd indigenous aircraft carrier has stalled since 2017 awaiting defence ministry’s clearance.
  • It was conceived as 65,000 tonne class carrier. The clearance was mainly delayed owing to its production cost.
  • Recently, Indian government has approached UK to build state of the art aircraft carrier along the lines of Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth.
  • The talks are under way to buy detailed plans for the 65,000-ton British warship to build a so-called “copycat supercarrier” to be named INS Vishal in 2022.
  • This India-UK Naval deal would follow the sale of INS Viraat to India in 1987, which was decommissioned 2 years ago.


  • INS Vishal, also known as Indigenous Aircraft Carrier 2(IAC-2), is a planned aircraft carrier to be built by Cochin Shipyard Limited for the Indian Navy.
  • It is intended to be the second aircraft carrier to be built in India after INS Vikrant(IAC-1), and the first supercarrier to be built in India.
  • The proposed design of the second carrier class will be a new design, featuring significant changes from Vikrant, including an increase in displacement.
  • An Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) CATOBAR system is also under consideration. Its name Vishal means ‘giant’ in Sanskrit.

INS Sahyadri

  • INS Sahyadri is an indigenously built stealth frigate.
  • It participated in trilateral Malabar war games with Japan and the U.S. off the Coast of Guam.
  • It recently participated in RIMPAC and has been adjudged runner-up in an innovation competition.
  • INS Sahyadri presented the ‘idea of integrating yoga into our daily life as technology for well-being during extended deployments for ships’.
  • The idea was appreciated by representatives of participating countries.

Operation ‘Madad’

  • The operation ‘Madad’ has been launched by the Southern naval command at kochi.
  • It is for assisting the state administration of Kerala and undertaking disaster relief operations due to the unprecedented flooding experienced in many parts.
  • Flooding in many parts is due to incessant rainfall and release of excess water from Idukki and other dams. 
  • INHS Sanjivani has been deployed for rendering medical assistance.

Submarines list of the Indian Navy for UPSC Exam

Class Type Boats Origin
Nuclear-powered submarines (2)      
Chakra (Akula II) class Attack submarine (SSN) INS Chakra Russia
Arihant class Ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) INS Arihant India
Diesel-electric submarines (14)      
Shishumar class Attack submarine INS Shishumar INS Shankush
INS Shalki
INS Shankul
West Germany India
Kalvari class Attack submarine INS Kalvari 
INS Khanderi
France India
Sindhughosh class Attack submarine INS Sindhughosh INS Sindhudhvaj  INS Sindhuraj INS Sindhuratna  INS Sindhukesari INS Sindhukirti  INS Sindhuvijay  INS Sindhurashtra Soviet Union Russia


Class Type Boats Origin
Nuclear submarines (1)      
Arihant class Ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) INS Arighat India
Diesel-electric submarines (5)      
Kalvari class Attack submarine INS Karanj
INS Vela INS Vagi INS Vagsheer
France India

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December 2023