India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the Ministry of Defence green-lighted two big projects Friday: one to build high-tech conventional submarines and another to procure air defence guns.
Headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, DAC approved the issuance of a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the construction of six conventional submarines under Project-75I at an estimated cost of INR 43,000 crore ($5.9 billion). It also gave its nod to buy air defence guns and ammunition for the Army at an approximate cost of INR 6,000 crore ($930 million).
“The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh today approved proposals concerning Capital Acquisitions of various equipment for modernization and operational needs of the Indian Armed Forces amounting to approximately INR 6,800 Crore,” the Indian MoD tweeted. “The DAC also approved issue of RFP for construction of six Conventional Submarines under Project P 75 (I) under the Strategic Partnership (SP) Model. This project envisages indigenous construction of six conventional submarines at an estimated cost of INR 43,000 Crore.”
With accord of this approval, India will be enabled to achieve its 30 year Submarine construction programme envisioned by the Government to acquire national competence in submarine construction and for the Indian industry to independently design and construct submarines in India, Singh noted.
The SP model of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) aims to promote the role of Indian industry in manufacturing and build a domestic defence industrial ecosystem.
The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy. Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also feature advanced air-independent propulsion systems to enable them to stay submerged for longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.
The RFP will be issued to Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) and Larsen & Toubro (T&T) in the next couple of months. It could take at least two-three more years for the deal to be concluded.
Five foreign OEMs- Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (South Korea), Naval Group (France), Navantia (Spain), Rosoboronexport (Russia) and TKMS (Germany), have been selected. The Indian companies are free to tie up with any of the foreign OEMs and one of the bids would be selected based on comprehensive evaluation.
As per the Navy’s requirements, the submarines, all of which will be built in India, should be equipped with Air Independent propulsion (AIP) modules and be able to fire land attack cruise missiles.