Government to issue $11b tender to shore up submarine fleet
New Delhi: To shore up its depleting submarine fleet, India will this year issue a $11 billion (Dh40.39 billion) global tender for building six more next generation vessels, navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said on Wednesday.
The new submarine programme, known as Project 75I, will be a follow-up to the six Scorpenes that are being built at the Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) under Project 75.
"The government has already cleared Project 75I. At the moment we are going through the process of Request For Information (RFI). I hope within this year we will be able to push the tender," Verma said on the sidelines of a National Maritime Foundation seminar on submarines.
French firm DCNS is now executing the Project 75 Scorpene orders in collaboration with MDL at a cost of $4 billion.
The Indian Navy operates 14 diesel-electric submarines at present after it decommissioned two Foxtrot class submarines last year. Of the 14 submarines, ten are Kilo class Soviet-origin vessels and the rest are HDW German-origin vessels.
The navy issued the RFI for Project 75I in September last year and some of the global firms that have responded to it are Russian Rosoboronexport, French DCNS/Armaris, German HDW and Spanish Navantia. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister A.K. Antony had given a nod for Project 75I last July.
On the capabilities of the Project 75I submarines, Verma said they would have better capabilities to detect and hide from enemies and an improved combat management system, sensors and detection range.
Under Project 75I, the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology will be incorporated in the submarines to increase their capability to remain submerged for longer periods of time.
* 6: number of submarines to be built under tender
* 14: current number of diesel-electric sub
* $4b: value of Project 75I Scorpene order