In an effort to provide a major boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India, the government has issued the Expression of Interest(s) for short listing of potential Indian Strategic Partners (SPs) for the construction of six conventional submarines for P-75(I) Project of the Indian Navy under the Make in India initiative.
The Project 75(I) is part of the 30 year Plan for indigenous submarine construction which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999. The first time the RFI for this project was issued in 2008 and the second time was in 2017.
The EoI for the Rs 45,000 crore worth project was issued on Thursday and is the second to be undertaken under the SP Model. According to the Ministry of Defence, the local Indian companies are expected to be shortlisted based on their capability for integration of the systems, expertise in shipbuilding domain and the financial strength.
The EoI for the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will be issued shortly, and their selection would be dependent on their submarine design fulfilling Indian Navy s Qualitative Requirements and also qualifying the Transfer of Technology and Indigenous Content (IC) criteria.
The first procurement under the SP was the 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH). Through the SP Model, the latest submarine design and technologies will come in as part of the project. The approval for the project to go ahead was given in January this year.
As has been reported by the Financial Express Online, the SPs in collaboration with OEMs have been mandated to set up a dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines in India and make India the global hub for submarine design and production.
All six submarines under this project will be built in India by the selected Indian Strategic Partner in collaboration with the selected OEM. Those companies including the French company Naval Group, Germany s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmBH, Sweden s SAAB AB and Russia s Rubin Design Bureau-Amur Shipbuilding Plant which had responded to Request for Information (RFI) are expected to respond to the EoI when it will be issued.
As has been reported earlier, Russia is offering its state-of-the-art Lada class diesel-electric submarine which according to Russian officials, this is the export modification of Amur-1650. This can also be equipped with BrahMos missile.
The P75(I) programme will have air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), through which the submarines can stay underwater for an extended period of time. These new submarines are also expected to have a vertical launch system with a new cruise missile, which can be used as the main anti-ship missile.
Besides the six submarines under P75 (I) project, the Indian Navy is likely to have an option to build six more submarines under the project. The main aim is to gradually move towards building indigenous capabilities in the private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon systems for the future needs of the Armed Forces.