India initiates Rs 70,000 cr mega underwater defence deal to build six advanced submarines

Days after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) chided the Indian Navy for causing inordinate delay in construction of four anti-submarine warfare corvettes, the defence ministry has initiated an estimated Rs 70,000 crore deal to build six advanced stealth submarines, The Times of India reported.

After a delay of 10 years, the submarines, which got the government nod way back in 2007, will be built under the Project-75 (India) programme, the report added. Six shipbuilders from France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Spain and Japan are already in the fray to collaborate with an Indian shipyard.

The six foreign shipbuilders are — Naval Group-DCNS (France), ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany), Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau (Russia), Navantia (Spain), Saab (Sweden) and the Mitsubishi-Kawasaki Heavy Industries combine (Japan), the report said.

An Indian Navy submarine. Ibnlive

An Indian Navy submarine. News18

On 19 July,  the Indian Navy had issued a request for information (RFI) to these six foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the mega submarine project, The Hindu Business Line had reported.

The foreign shipbuilders are expected to respond to the RFI by 15 September. Before floating a request for proposal (RFP), the navy will issue the NSQRs (naval staff qualitative requirements) to the six shipbuilders. The selection of an Indian shipyard for partnership with foreign shipbuilders will be done in a parallel process.

According to The Hindu Business Line, the Indian Navy doesn't only expect the six submarines to feature Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) and anti-surface and anti-submarine attack capability, but also expects transfer of technology from the OEM.

The actual transfer of technology will be key to ascertain which foreign shipbuilder teams up with the Indian shipyard, the report added.

It was reported in August 2016 that India had a fleet of 13 ageing submarines, only half of which were operational at any time, opening up a gap with China which has been expanding its maritime presence in the Indian Ocean.

Under Project-75 (India), six Scorpene-class submarines are also being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. The submarines were designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS.

Updated Date: Jul 24, 2017 15:52 PM

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