Russian shipbuilder may choose Larson and Tuobro over Reliance Pipavav shipyard as a partner in the upgrade and refit of India’s Kilo-class submarines contract valued at $749 million (INR 5000 crore).
“The Russian side has written to the Indian government, informing that an earlier partnership plan with the Anil Ambani promoted Pipavav now stands cancelled as the shipyard would not have been able to meet timelines set by the Navy for the upgrade plan,” Economic Times news daily cited unnamed sources as saying Friday.
"A survey of the equipment profile and finances was conducted at the Cochin Shipyard, Pipavav and the L&T yard at Kattupalli. Only the L&T facility was found technically capable of carrying out the work in the given timeframe," an official involved in the process told ET.
L&T is now expected to get a major share of the contract with at least three submarines to be refit and upgraded in India. L&T still has to respond to the development.
While the first of the four Kilo class subs will go to the Russian Zvezdochka shipyard for inspection and refit, the remaining three are likely to be modernised at the Kattupalli yard. The first of the submarines to be modernised at private yard — a first for India — will go in by 2017, officials said. An order for 2-3 more submarines could also be commissioned, depending on ongoing acquisition plans of the Navy.
The extensive refit will not only extend the life of the subs but will also upgrade their combat potential. The first submarine to be sent is the INS Sindhukesari that will be fitted with Klub land attack cruise missile. The Sindhukesari, which got its first refit in 1999-2001, will also be fitted with several Indian systems.