Issue: 3/2022 By Jayant Baranwal, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

In the lead article in this issue, Admiral Sunil Lanba (Retd) goes on an underwater journey tracing the development of the Submarine force in the Indian Navy. The Government approved 30-year programme in 1999 for 24 submarines is running way behind with only 6 submarines under Project 75 delivered till date. Also, the DRDO project to develop an indigenous fuel cell AIP is also running way behind schedule. All eyes are now on Project 75 (India) but this being the first SP case for a major ship/submarine construction project, the whole approval process has also taken a prolonged time leading to more delays in the project. The delay in execution of the 30-year plan, has seen steady fall in submarine force level and obsolescence of platforms.

Indian Navy is looking forward to the commissioning of INS Vikrant, which has completed t e fourth phase of Sea trials, during August 2022 to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav’. The successful construction of India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) is a glowing testimonial to Indian Navy’s capability to design and oversee the construction of the most complex of warships with 76 per cent indigenisation through the participation of several Indian public and private sector industries. The country can be justifiably proud of this achievement as India joins an elite club of countries that can design and build aircraft carriers. The ship embodies the spirit of ‘New India’ – an India which is confident, resurgent and truly Atmanirbhar in carving its strategic identity amongst the naval powers of the world. In an article, Vice Admiral A.K. Chawla (Retd) takes us through the past life and re-incarnation of INS Vikrant and its current contribution to the development of an indigenous naval ship manufacturing eco-system.

Another programme that has worked out well for the Indian Armed Forces is the Barak-8 SAM (surface to air missile) air defence system, jointly developed by DRDO and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). After extensive testing, both ship-based and land-based versions have been inducted into the Indian Armed Forces and now forms the backbone of India’s air defence capability. We have an extensive report on the Barak AMD System in this issue.

All this and more in this issue of SP’s Naval Forces. Wish you all discerning readers happy reading!