Rs 42k crore stealth sub plan to finally kick off | India News

NEW DELHI: India is now finally getting set to issue the formal tender for the long-pending over Rs 42,000 crore project to make six new-generation stealth submarines domestically with foreign collaboration.
Defence ministry (MoD) sources on Monday said the tender or RFP (request for proposal) “should be issued by next month” to defence shipyard Mazagon Docks (MDL) and private ship-builder L&T for the submarine programme, called Project-75 India (P-75I).
It will be the first project to be launched under the strategic partnership (SP) policy promulgated by the NDA government in May 2017 to boost indigenous production under the overall “Make in India” platform. The submarine or other SP projects will not be impacted by the negative arms import list issued by MoD on Sunday, as was reported by TOI.
The two Indian shipyards or SPs will have to submit their technical and commercial bids in response to the RFP after they tie up with their preferred original equipment manufacturer (OEM) from the five short-listed by the MoD earlier.
The five OEMs are Rubin Design Bureau (Russia), Naval Group-DCNS (France), ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Daewoo (South Korea).
The Navy, grappling with an ageing and fast-depleting underwater combat arm, hopes to induct the first new submarine seven years after the P-75I contract is finally inked by 2021-2022.
The force currently has only two new Scorpene and 13 old (all commissioned well over 20 years ago) diesel-electric conventional submarines, apart from two nuclear-powered submarines. Four more of the French-origin Scorpenes will be delivered by 2022 under the ongoing over Rs 23,000 crore Project-75 at MDL.
But China, which is expanding its naval presence in the Indian Ocean region, already has 50 diesel-electric and 10 nuclear submarines. Pakistan, which has five submarines, in turn will begin inducting eight new Chinese Yuan-class submarines, with air-independent propulsion (AIP) for great underwater endurance, from next year onwards.
India’s P-75I for six new submarines, with both land-attack cruise missiles and AIP, was first granted “acceptance of necessity (AoN)” way back in November 2007 but is yet to be finalised.
None of the major six to seven “Make in India” defence projects, collectively worth over Rs 3.5 lakh crore, in fact, have actually taken off in the last six to seven years, as was reported by TOI earlier.
The MoD says P-75I, which can be finalised by December 2021 at the earliest, will bring in key technologies to ensure the next submarine-building project (P-76) is completely indigenous in design and technology.
Under the approved plans, the Navy should get 18 conventional submarines as well as six nuclear-powered attack submarines (called SSNs) and four nuclear-powered submarines with long-range nuclear-tipped missiles (SSBNs) for effective deterrence against China and Pakistan, as earlier reported by TOI.

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