A ‘Make in India’ project worth ₹ 43,000 crores to build six conventional submarines have been cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council, headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. In January 2020, the defence ministry cleared two Indian and five foreign shipbuilders to take part in Project 75i, the government said in a statement on June 4.
The Ministry of Defence-owned shipyard Mazagon Docks (MDL) and private entity Larsen & Turbo (L&T) have been shortlisted amongst the domestic bidders. L&T is engaged in making the hulls of the Arihant Class of Indian strategic submarines.
A foreign manufacturer will tie-up with the Indian partners under what is termed as ‘strategic partnership (SP) model’ to make these under-sea vessels for nearly $ 5.8 Billion. The SP model entails foreign manufacturers working in India at the facility of its Indian partner.
The five foreign companies in the race are South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, The Naval Group of France, Navantia of Spain, ThysenKrupp Marine Systems of Germany, and the Rosboronexport of Russia.
Also, Read This: 1300 Mahindra ALSV Ordered For Indian Army Worth INR 1056 Crores
India has asked for submarines, that will run on a mix of Diesel-electric power, to have air-independent propulsion (AIP). An AIP adds to be submergence capabilities, allowing the submarine to dive for 12-15 days, much more than the 4-5 days endurance of conventional subs.
A minimum of 45% indigenization has to be ensured by the strategic partner in Project 75i, officials familiar with the project said. The strategic partner will also ensure that the sixth submarine has a minimum indigenous content of 60%, they added.
“There is an incentivization model for specific equipment and systems under the hull, engineering and electrical heads wherein achieving indigenous content between 70% and 100% will ensure that an incentive of 5% to 20% of the equipment/system cost is paid to the strategic partner as a reward,” said one of the officials cited above.
“This would be one of the largest ‘Make in India’ projects and will serve to facilitate faster and more significant absorption of technology and create a tiered industrial ecosystem for submarine construction in India. From a strategic perspective, this will help reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance and dependability of supplies from indigenous sources,” Govt said.
Also, Read This: Final Version of Defence Production Policy To Be Unveiled Soon