Defense

Defence Ministry issues formal tender for mega submarine programme: Report

040730-N-1234E-002 Groton, Conn. (July 30, 2004) - The nationÕs newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine and the lead ship of its class, PCU Virginia (SSN 774) returns to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas called "alpha" sea trials. Virginia is the NavyÕs only major combatant ready to join the fleet that was designed with the post-Cold War security environment in mind and embodies the war fighting and operational capabilities required to dominate the littorals while maintaining undersea dominance in the open ocean. Virginia and the rest of the ships of its class are designed specifically to incorporate emergent technologies that will provide new capabilities to meet new threats. Virginia will be delivered to the U.S. Navy this fall. U.S. Navy photo by General Dynamics Electric Boat (RELEASED)
New Delhi, July 22

 The Defence Ministry on Tuesday issued the request for proposal (RFP) or the formal tender to domestically build six conventional submarines for the navy at a cost of over ₹ 40,000 crore, over a month after the mega acquisition project was cleared.

It will be the first project to be implemented under the strategic partnership (SP) model that allows domestic firms to collaborate with foreign players to produce high-end military platforms in India.

The RFP was issued to the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T), the two Indian companies shortlisted following a long-drawn process, according to the defence ministry.

Both L&T and MDL will have to collaborate with one of the five already short-listed foreign shipyards — Daewoo Shipbuilding (South Korea), ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Naval Group (France) and JSC ROE(Russia).

“These five foreign firms are the world leaders in the field of conventional submarine design, construction and all other related technologies. The foreign OEMs (original equipment maker) will be the technology partner in the SP model,” the defence ministry said.

“Foreign OEMs will enable SP for construction of submarines, achieving high levels of indigenization, and transfer of technology (ToT),” it said in a statement.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) last month approved the issuance of the request for proposal (RFP) for the acquisition programme named Project-75(I).

The ministry said the OEMs would enable the setting up of dedicated manufacturing lines for the submarines in India by providing ToT for submarine design and other technologies and make India the global hub for submarine design and production.

“The project would not only aid in boosting the core submarine, shipbuilding industry but would also greatly enhance manufacturing/industrial sector, especially the MSME by the development of an industrial ecosystem for the manufacture of associated spares, systems and equipment related to submarines,” the ministry said.

In order to achieve these objectives, the RFP has key features like mandatory level of indigenous manufacture of platforms, ToT for design, manufacture and maintenance of submarines and a few critical equipment and systems.

Under the strategic partnership model, domestic defence manufacturers are allowed to join hands with leading foreign defence majors to produce high-end military platforms to reduce import dependence.

The Indian Navy planned to acquire 24 new submarines, including six nuclear attack submarines, to bolster its underwater fighting capability under a 30-year programme that will end in 2030.

It currently has 15 conventional submarines and two nuclear submarines.

The Navy has been focusing on significantly bolstering its overall capabilities in view of China’s growing efforts to increase its military presence in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Ocean, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy, is critical to the country’s strategic interests.

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