New Delhi: The Indian Navy has appointed a senior officer to oversee and fast-track all submarine acquisition plans, even as it grapples with a depleting underwater force and rising levels of submarines in the inventories of nations inimical to Indian interests.
Rear admiral MT Moraes has been appointed as the new assistant chief of naval staff (submarines), a position in naval headquarters that is being revived after a long time.
He assumed command on Friday.
He will be replaced as flag officer (submarines) at Visakhapatnam by rear admiral Srikant.
With a rapidly depleting fleet, the Navy has to move fast to get its Project-75 India (P-75I) rolling at the earliest. The Rs50,000 crore P-75I programme envisages acquisition of six new stealth submarines, equipped with both tube-launched missiles for land-attack capabilities as well as AIP (air-independent propulsion) for enhanced underwater endurance.
Even as its older fleet of German HDW and Russian Kilo-class submarines approaches redundancy levels, the ongoing Rs23,562-crore project to build six French Scorpene submarines at the Mazagon Docks is running late by three years.