South Korean Firm Replaces Saab for Indian Navy’s Mega Submarine Project

The Indian Navy is seeking to complete modernisation of itself amid the rising challenges of security. A part of this overhaul is the Rs 45,000 crore submarine project, the Indian Navy was initially collaborating with Saab, the Swedish defence production firm.

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However, now there’s a last-minute entry of a South Korea based shipbuilder after Saab pulled-out from the mega project. Saab reportedly pulled out after red-flagging policy restraints that can burden foreign vendors with a lot of liabilities.

South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering was sent a late invitation for the Rs 45000 rupees project. The South Korean firm was invited to bid for the contract last month weeks before Rajnath Singh, Indian Defence Minister was on an official visit to Seoul.

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This is the single largest ‘Make in India’ project and it will include the design and development of six conventional submarines that will bolster the capabilities of the Indian Navy.

Saab has been a part of the pre-bidding meetings with all stakeholders for two years. As reported by Economic Times, Saab wrote to the Indian defence ministry that it would not be able to continue being a part of the competition in order to procure tender for the design and development of submarines for the Indian Navy.

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Certain conditions in the strategic partnership policy under which the project is being processed were not acceptable to the Swedish firm owing to which it chose to pull out.

The same concerns have also been expressed by other foreign manufacturers and stakeholders time and again. The basic discontent of foreign vendors is centred around the time schedule and the requirements related to the strategic partnership policy.