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    INDIAN NAVY WANTS 36 DIESEL SUBS, RUSSIA VENTURES TO GIVE 30

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    NEW DELHI, February 8, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The Indian Navy needs 36 diesel submarines. Russia is ready to supply thirty, Igor Ovdienko, in charge of the Rubin central shipbuilding R&D bureau, said to Novosti.

    The bureau was prominent among the exhibitors of the DefExpo India 2004 international show, underway in New Delhi, February 4 into 7.

    The Rubin was exhibiting, among other items, the Amur 950 submarine, and a dummy of the trailblazing diesel electric Amur 1650. The latter is incomparably superior to, let say, France's Scorpain, Mr. Ovdienko proudly remarked.

    Top-notch Indian naval officers were gasping at the Amurs on show. They spectacularly supercede previous-generation submarines for battle efficiency, what with the latest arms - in particular, assault missiles, to say nothing of super-powerful engines and unprecedented speed. The Amur can stay under water for very long, and is sensationally secretive as it makes no more noise than waves splashing.

    Rubin spokesmen used the show to negotiate with India's Larson & Tubra shipbuilders, anxious to make Russian-designed subs on license. These initial contacts are in keeping with Indian governmental policies for long-term progress of military technological partnerships.

    To all appearances, Russia will build two or three vessels for India next to pass the project on to India. It is too early to expect a contract now-it takes Indians extremely long to make preparations for ventures of the kind, warns Igor Ovdienko.

    Russian ships are not new to the Indian Navy. Its personnel knows them, and has a long record of sailing Russian vessels, so it is quite natural to expect Amur 1650s in India, he says.

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