Upgraded Indian Attack Submarines to Receive US Anti-Ship Missiles
Image Credit: Boeing Photo

Upgraded Indian Attack Submarines to Receive US Anti-Ship Missiles


The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded U.S. defense company Boeing an $81 million contract modification to supply the Indian Navy (IN) with 22 submarine-launched Harpoon over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles under the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, according to a September 23 press release.

In detail, the Boeing will supply 12 UGM-84L Harpoon Block II missiles and 10 UTM-84L Harpoon training missiles, all encapsulated in a container to enable submerged launch through a torpedo tube. “Also included are two Encapsulated Harpoon certification training vehicles, containers, spares, as well as all-inclusive logistics support, and instruction for IN personnel on the missile system,” IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly reports.

The arms package is estimated to have a total worth of around $200 million. The deal is expected to be completed in June 2018. India first purchased 24 AGM-84L Block II Harpoons in 2010 for the Indian Air Force. It bought an additional 21 Harpoons in 2012 at a cost of $200 million. India’s burgeoning fleet of Poseidon 8I Neptune advanced maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare aircraft are armed with Harpoon missiles.

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The contract modification is part of a midlife upgrade of two Shishumar-class (Type 209/1500) diesel-electric attack submarines (SSK) in service with the Indian Navy (See: “Germany to Upgrade Two Indian Attack Submarines”). The upgrade is supposed to extend the submarines’ operational life by ten years.

As I reported previously:

The four 1,450-ton Shishumar-class SSKs form the Indian Navy’s 10th submarine squadron based in Mumbai. Two Shishumar-class submarines were assembled at the Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) at Kiel in Germany, while the third and fourth vessels of the class were license-built at Mumbai’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited and commissioned in the early 1990s.

It appears that only two out of the four Shishumar-class SSKs will undergo midlife upgrades. “Only these two (Shalki and Shankul) can be done because certain modifications to the firing chain for missile launch need to be incorporated, which in a ‘fitted for’ configurations had already been catered for. Only the impulse flasks, etc. need to be added in the firing chain as the torpedoes are in swim out mode,” an Indian Navy official told local media in June.

A separate contract with German defense company ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) signed in June 2016 encompasses the integration of the UGM-84L Harpoon Block encapsulated missile system — the subs’ new weapons suite — aboard the Shishumar-class.

“It is a key milestone in our long-standing commitment towards India. We have the capacity to integrate any weapon system that is selected by the Indian Navy, onto our submarines. We are happy to take on this project to now integrate the harpoon missiles in two of the four SSK submarines ” Gurnad Sodhi, Managing Director of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems India, said in June.

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