The Indian Ministry of Defense has issued Request for Information to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan, Naval Group (formerly DCNS) of France, Navantia of Spain, Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau of Russia, Saab of Sweden and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany to build its new line of six conventional submarines at an estimated cost of $7.7 billion.
It will be the first project to be initiated under the recently approved Strategic Partnership (SP) model intended to promote private sector participation in defence manufacturing.
Submarines under this project will be more advanced and lethal than the Scorpene submarines being built by Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. New submarines would be equipped with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) modules that would greatly enhance the reach and stealth characteristics of the submarine.
Under the Strategic Partnership model, the user will shortlist the Original Equipment Manufacture through the normal selection process while the Indian strategic partner would shortlisted by the Government in a parallel process. And the expected contenders for the deal are Larsen & Tourbo (L&T) and Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) which have their own shipyards.
Indian Navys last two of the six Scorpene submarines being manufactured by Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) will be rolled out without the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. The AIP module which is not part of the original Scorpene contract with DCNS enables conventional submarines to stay underwater for a longer duration greatly increasing the submarines stealth characteristics
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