The Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has issued a tender worth $291 million (INR 2000 crore) for the procurement of 100 heavyweight torpedoes for the Indian Navy’s Scorpene-class (Kalvari-class) diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs).
“The tender is for around 100 torpedoes and will cater to the immediate requirement of the Navy,” a top ministry official was quoted as saying by the local media.
“These torpedoes will be equipped on the Scorpene-class submarines that are being built by the Mumbai-based Mazagon dockyards,” the official stated further.
The contract for the licensed production of six submarines of this class worth $3.75 billion was signed in October 2005 under Project 75. The proposal to arm the French-origin submarines with torpedos was cleared by the Defence Ministry in February of this year.
As of now the all the tenders have been issued to foreign vendors - France, Sweden, Russia and Germany. The Ministry has, however, planned to fulfil the long-term bulk requirement through the 'Made in India' route.
"The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also looking forward to using heavyweight torpedo as the next version of its light torpedoes for submarines and surface ships," the official added.
The fleet of indigenously developed nuclear-powered Arihant-class boats also require new torpedoes. The submersibles are presently equipped with old and less-effective ones.
India’s deal for 98 heavyweight Black Shark torpedoes was struck with Whitehead Alenia Systemi Subacquei (WASS), but it was cancelled in 2017 after WASS’ parent company Finmeccanica was blacklisted owning to corruption charges against another of its subsidiary - Agusta Westland in VVIP chopper deal.