The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the defense ministry of India, on Friday approved the P75(I) plan of the Indian navy for the building of six conventional attack submarines.
Under this plan, the Indian navy shall select a strategic partner company that shall work in collaboration with the Original Equipment Manager (OEM) to construct six submarines as a strategy to boost indigenous production and self-reliance of defense forces under the 'Make in India' project of the Indian government.
The first submarine to be built under this project is likely to be commissioned by the Indian navy in 2030. All six submarines will be equipped with state-of-the-art air-independent propulsion systems. The project is estimated to cost massive spending of Rs. 43000 crore.
This project is believed to be a part of a 30-year submarine construction plan of the government which envisioned self-reliance on indigenous sources with regards to the defense forces of India. The project included the construction of 24 indigenous built submarines by 2030.
The P75(I) project was originally planned in the year 2007 but was put off for years and has been brought back into action in early 2019. This the first project under the strategic partnership model that has been approved by the government.
Currently, the government sources are said to have shortlisted prospective strategic partner companies in India, Larsen & Toubro and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) who are to respond to contractual offers with one of the five OEM's for building the six submarines. The five OEMs include Rosoboronexport (ROE) of Russia, ThyssenKrupp of Germany, Naval Group of France, Navantia of Spain, and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of South Korea.
In the meet of DAC chaired by the Defence Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh said, This is a landmark approval, being the first case processed under the Strategic Partnership model. This would be one of the largest ‘Make in India’ projects and will serve to facilitate faster and more significant absorption of technology and create a tiered industrial ecosystem for submarine construction in India."
P75(I) is a successor to project P75 under which six diesel-attack submarines were approved to be constructed. The six submarines were of the Kalvari class and the third of the total of six submarines INS Karanj has already been commissioned by the Indian navy in March this year.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) for this project is expected to be rolled out within a month after which the strategic partner companies will be asked to make official bids for collaborations with one of the five shortlisted foreign Original Equipment Managers (OEM).