India is speeding up a navy modernization program and leaning on its neighbors to curb Chinese submarine activity in the Indian Ocean, as nations in the region become increasingly jittery over Beijing’s growing undersea prowess. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has ordered an accelerated tendering process to build six conventional diesel-electric submarines at an estimated cost of $8.1 billion. That’s in addition to six similar submarines that French firm DCNS is assembling in a Mumbai port to replace a nearly 30-year-old fleet hit by a run of accidents. India’s first indigenously built nuclear submarine joins the fleet in late 2016, and the government has turned to industrial group Larsen & Toubro to manufacture two more nuclear submarines, sources said.
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