India is reportedly considering a project to incorporate six Japanese Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines into its fleet, says The Japan Times.
The Defense Minister of India Manohar Parrikar has expressed his readiness to consider acquiring Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force.
The reports in Indian media say it is not a purchasing plan. The proposal was sent asking the Japanese Government to 'consider the possibility' of building the six stealth submarines in India.
This is what Parrikar said: “We are very much interested in Japan’s technologies.” But it is not clear if India would want to buy.
"In keeping with their expanding strategic partnership, the Modi government has asked the Shinzo Abe administration whether it would be interested in the over Rs 50,000 crore [$8.1 billion] project to build six stealth submarines in India," the Times of India reported.
On the contrary, in a move that will certainly generate a strong reaction from China, Tokyo recently announced that talks with India are under way for the sale of six Soryu-class submarines.
The issue may be taken up at Parrikar's forthcoming meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani. “Everything is on agenda. We can discuss that issue,” he said.
The Indian Navy has a fleet of 15 submarines, but more than half are not equipped to respond quickly to contingencies due to aging.
In view of the growing activity of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean, the Indian government
has put a high priority on arms buildup in order to strengthen maritime security.
India is also in advanced negotiations with Japan to acquire 12 ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious search-and-rescue aircraft for around USD1.65 billion, a deal that is likely to be concluded in early 2016.