India’s Larsen and Toubro (L & T) and Rosoboronexport of Russia will discuss a possible co-operation to manufacture air-independent propulsion (AIP) system for submarines on the sidelines of the St.Petersburg Economic Forum.
A Rosoboronxport statement said today that the two companies will go through technological co-operation projects, top of which is the joint development of an AIP system.
The Indian Navy in October, last year, said it is not looking at including the indigenous AIP system in the last two Scorpene submarines, and it could be added later during retrofit.
The project got clearance from the Defense Acquistion Council for construction in Indian shipyards in October 2014. INR 53,000 crore (US$8 billion) was allocated for the acquisition of the attack submarines.
Initially, the Navy was looking at fitting at least two of the six Scorpene submarines (Project 75) with the system. Later, officials had said they expected to fit the system in at least the last of the boats as the programme got delayed.
The Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines under Project 75I, a follow on of Project 75 Kalvari-class submarines. The basic parameters are the AIP systems, to increase endurance and stealth capability, land attack capability and vertically launched missiles feature to accommodate the BrahMos series.
The Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is also in the process of developing AIP technology for future Indian-built submarines.
During the bidding process, a high-level committee was set up by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to inspect and assess the capabilities of different local shipyards to undertake the building of submarines.
The committee shortlisted five shipyards which include Hindustan Shipyard, Mazagon Dock, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Defense (earlier Pipavav Shipyard). These shipyards are expected to be submitting their bids in partnership with an international shipyard and the Indian navy will choose a design and shipyard which meets its specifications.