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Indian Navy keen on French pump-jet propulsion for Nuclear Attack Submarines

The Indian Navy is almost on the verge of getting official approval for the construction of the six next-generation nuclear attack submarines from the Prime Minister Office (PMO) that the Navy Design Bureau plans to take up.  

Navy Design Bureau is the leading design agency for naval warships in the country. The plan is to field and commission the next-generation attack submarines into service by the end of this decade. 

The Navy has been planning ways to make nuclear submarines, even quieter and stealthier to reduce the acoustic levels. It has decided to get rid of the traditional propeller and instead decided to go with a pump-jet propulsion system for nuclear attack submarine.  

A pump-jet propulsion system creates a jet of water to power the boat forward and also produces less cavitation, which is the stream of bubbles or voids created by traditional propellers. Less cavitation means an even lower acoustic signature for the submarine. 

French Naval Group has offered its non-nuclear technology for the development of India’s next-generation nuclear attack submarines and one of the technologies that the Indian Navy is very keen on is the pump-jet propulsion system. This system was developed for the French Navy’s Barracuda class nuclear attack submarines. Pump jets are more efficient at higher speeds that are very crucial for nuclear attack submarines that often have to operate behind the enemy lines for their offensive operations. 

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