Indian Naval (IN) Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta announced on Friday, at the conclusion of a two days' Naval Commander's Conference at Mumbai that IN is planning to acquire six more submarines, in addition to the French Scorpens. The delay in the development of Scorpens has prompted IN to desperately look for a fresh batch of submarines. Admiral Mehta said that IN was keen on acquiring six of one type (Scorpens) and six of another but emphasised that India wants to have indigenous capability for building them. He informed that the submarines for which global tenders would be floated could also have vertical missile launch capabilities. The admiral appeared sanguine regarding the acquisition of nuclear powered subs. The Indian Navy presently has 16 diesel powered subs of Russian and German origin and is reportedly looking to lease Akula class nuclear powered submarines from Russia. India signed a deal for six Scorpens with MESMA air-independent propulsion, and construction has begun. These submarines will join the Indian Navy from 2010-11 onwards. In January 1988 India obtained an ex-Soviet Charlie class nuclear powered guided missile submarine with eight Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright) anti-shipping missile launchers on lease for three years and christened it INS Chakra, manning it with an Indian crew. Upon expiration of its leasing term in 1991, the submarine was returned to Russia and joined the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy. According to Wikipedia, India has been working since 1985 to develop an indigenously constructed nuclear-powered submarine, one that is based on the Soviet Charlie II-class design, detailed drawings of which are said to have been obtained from the Soviet Union in 1989. The highly classified Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to provide nuclear propulsion for Indian submarines has been one of the country's ill-managed projects. The nuclear reactor is reported to have been fitted into the submarine's hull. The Prototype Testing Centre (PTC) at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, will be used to test the submarine's turbines and propellers. A similar facility is operational at Vishkapatnam to test the main turbines and gearbox. India ultimately plans to have as many as five nuclear submarines capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads. The Indian nuclear powered attack submarine design is said to have a 6,000-ton displacement and a single-shaft nuclear power plant of Indian origin. Once the vessel is completed, it may be equipped with Sagarika/Agni-III ballistic missiles and advanced Indian made sonar systems. Pakistan's successful test flight of the air-launched Rad Missile on Thursday last, has raised ripples amidst the Indian defence planners. With the air-launched cruise missile, the sub-launched version could not be far behind. In case it is mated with a nuclear warhead, it could spell trouble for India. The BrahMos and Klub are far from perfection yet. Maritime history of the world's fourth largest navy, operating 155 vessels, dates back to more than 5,000 years. The earliest known reference to an organization devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from 4th century BC. Sea lanes between India and neighboring lands were the usual form of trade for many centuries. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maratha and Kerala fleets were expanded, and became the most powerful Naval Forces in the subcontinent, even defeating European Navies at various times. The British Indian Navy was established during the colonial era. Modern Indian Navy's genesis lies in the British era. Indian projection of its naval armada is in consonance with its ambition of becoming a world power. Whereas Indian Navy has been flexing its muscles in the near past, to achieve its hegemonic designs, Indian projection of its naval armada is in consonance with its ambition of becoming a world power. Whereas Indian Navy has been flexing its muscles in the near past, to achieve its hegemonic designs, the IN is more concerned about having a strong presence in the eastern South China Sea to counter Beijing's growing influence in the Indian Ocean, Myanmar and on Pakistan's western seaboard, where China has helped to develop Gwadar Port that provides it access to the Persian Gulf. Thus the quest for new submarines, surface and aviation platforms.