France, Russia to Compete for Indian Navy’s $8B Submarine Project

Indian Navy’s $8B Submarine Project draws competition from France, Russia, Sweden and Germany. French defence organisation Naval Group, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmBH, Sweden’s SaaB AB and Russia’s Rubin Design Bureau-Amur Shipbuilding Plant have been short-listed by the Indian Navy as strategic partners to build six advanced submarines under the ‘Project-75′ worth about $8 billion.

Rubin Design Bureau (Russia) is the largest of the three submarine design centres, while Amur Shipbuilding Plant makes nuclear submarines. Both are part of Russian state-controlled United Shipbuilding Corporation.

A request for information (RFI) was issued to six top global submarine players; the four potential collaborators were shortlisted by the Indian Navy. The four submarine-makers will have to collaborate with a domestic warship builder and manufacture domestically via the transfer of technology, according to Indian Navy officials.

The P75(I) programme seeks to build six advanced submarines with air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology, which empowers the submarines to remain underwater for an elongated period. Besides, the proposed submarines will have a vertical launch system with a new cruise missile that will be used as the main anti-ship missile.

The Scorpene Deal for Indian Navy

State-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd had earlier signed a technology transfer agreement with the Naval Group for building six Scorpene submarines, the first of which was delivered recently.

India’s state-owned warship builders such as Mazagon Dock, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers and order-starved private yards such as L&T and Reliance Naval are anticipated to bid for the contract.  The fact that Mazagon Dock has been associated with the Naval Group would not give us an edge over anybody else. It is the technology that will define the specifications, which in turn will determine the award of the contract, an official stated.

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