Visakhapatnam: Indian Navy is all set to operate five nuclear submarines by the end of this decade, including two leased from Russia and three built indigenously.
India is considering a proposal to induct another nuclear submarine built in Russia and has plans of indigenously building two more Arihant Class underwater vessels to guard its maritime boundaries, Defence Minister AK Antony said.
The Navy yesterday formally commissioned the Akula-II Class INS Chakra in Vishakhapatnam and is set to launch the INS Arihant for sea trials soon.
On India`s plans to expand its nuclear submarine fleet, Antony said the government was considering a proposal in this regard and the country can afford to buy another such vessel.
"There is a proposal...Cost is not necessary. India can afford it... In the next few years, the Navy will get more submarines," the Defence Minister said at the commissioning of INS Chakra.
The Navy which currently operates more than 10 conventional diesel-electric submarines of the Kilo and HDW Class, has plans of inducting a dozen more in the next decade.
Already six Scorpene submarines are being constructed at Mazagon Dockyards in Mumbai in collaboration with French DCNS and six more are planned to be built under the Project-75 India.
Terming its relation with India as "privileged strategic partnership", Russian Ambassador Alexander M Kadakin had said, that "Russia can give everything India needs".
Russia is also helping India in building three follow-on Talwar class guided missile frigates of which two are expected to be inducted this year.