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India

Boost to Make in India: Govt initiates process to construct 6 stealth submarines

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has begun the process to shortlist potential Indian shipyards for the long-pending project to construct six new-generation conventional stealth submarines with foreign collaboration under the “strategic partnership (SP)” model as part of the overall “Make in India” policy.
The submarine project called “Project-75 India (P-75I), dubbed the “mother of all underwater deals” because it will cost at least Rs 50,000 crore, was first approved by the defence ministry in November 2007 but has been languishing in general politico-bureaucratic apathy, files and committees ever since.
The MoD has now issued the “Expression of Interest” (EoI) with technical and financial parameters to potential Indian strategic partners or shipyards, which range from defence PSU Mazagon Docks to private ones like L&T, who have to respond within two months.
The EoI to shortlist the foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), in turn, will be issued in two weeks. Four ship-builders, Naval Group-DCNS (France), ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany), Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau (Russia) and Saab Kockums (Sweden), had earlier responded to the request for information (RFI) issued for P-75I in July 2017.
“The Navy would have the option to get six more submarines manufactured in the dedicated submarine production line to be set up under the project,” said an official. The Navy wants the submarines to have both land-attack cruise missiles as well as air-independent propulsion for greater underwater endurance.
But it will take well over a year for the OEM-Indian shipyard combine to be down-selected for the first six submarines to be produced under the SP model. Once the contract is actually inked, it will take another seven to eight years for the first vessel to actually roll out.
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