India is likely to go with Germany to buy heavy-weight torpedos for its six under-construction Scorpene submarines in a government to government deal after the MoD scrapped INR 1,800 crore (US $266 million) contract for 98 Black Shark torpedoes from Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS) on June 1,2016.
French F21 from DCNS and SeaHake from German Atlas Elektronik were the two torpedoes that interested India. Defence sources were quoted as saying by PTI that the government had written to various countries looking for options, PTI reported Tuesday.
Sources said the French wrote back saying they are willing to provide F21 but only for French submarines or those built with French help.
This meant that in case the French dont make the cut in future submarine contracts with India, the government will have to look for options. As per the plans, the torpedos that were to be fitted on the six under-construction Scorpene submarines being built in collaboration with Frances DCNS, would have eventually made it into the next project called P75 I and others.
Torpedoes are self-propelled weapons with explosives packed in their nose and are submarines primary weapon.
All alternatives are being worked out since we will not be going in for the Italian torpedos, defence sources said, adding, Atlas Elektronik is the front-runner.
The ministry had carried out a detailed study looking into various options before deciding to scrap the plans to procure Black Shark torpedoes, made by WASS, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica.
The company had emerged the lowest bidder during the UPA era to arm the Scorpene submarines the first of which will be handed over to the Navy by September this year.
However, the proposal to acquire it had been stuck for long time. Various controversies surrounded the deal which former Defence Minister A K Antony had not signed on.
The deal eventually got embroiled in the VVIP chopper scandal, sources said. The Navy had been pushing for it citing "operational necessity".