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February 16, 2012

Pakistan Plans to Design Own Nuclear Submarine

(Rusnavy) : Pakistan Navy will concentrate on designing and construction of own nuclear-powered submarines, reports Defense News referring to Pakistan's media agencies. Press service of Pakistan Navy declined to comment that news. Reportedly, the project designing has been already financed, and the first nuclear-powered submarine would join Pakistan Navy in 5-8 years.

According to non-conventional arms expert of the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad Mansoor Ahmed, those reports can be the Pakistan government's reaction on developing Indian strategic nuclear program. Particularly, in Jan 2012 Russian shipyard Zvezda leased Project 971U nuclear-powered attack submarine K-152 Nerpa to Indian Navy.

Besides, India is engaged in designing and construction of own Arihant-class nuclear-powered submarines. In total, it is planned to build five subs of this type based on Soviet Project 670 Skat. The first Arihant-class submarine is expected to join Indian Navy by the end of 2012.

So far, it is still unclear whether Pakistan possesses technologies to create relatively compact and reliable submarine-based nuclear reactor. It is unknown what kind of nuclear submarines Pakistan wants to acquire, either attack ones or armed with ballistic missiles.

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