The government of India has put forward a proposal of over Rs 50,000 crore ($6 billion) project to construct six stealth submarines in India. India is especially interested in acquiring the latest diesel- electric Soryu –class submarines, according to a report in the Times of India.
The 4,200 tonne Soryu submarines, jointly manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, may not meet the Indian requirements but it may become a serious contender for the program called Project-75 India if Japan agrees to bid in the project.
India is looking to manufacture these submarines in India under the newly launched ‘Make in India’ program.
Countries like France (ship-builder DCNS), Germany (HDW), Russia (Rosoboronexport) and Spain (Navantia) are already girding up, with the first three having the experience of building submarines for India.
Indian official are also having discussion on acquiring Japanese US-2i ShinMAyva amphibious aircraft for the Indian Navy.
The US, on its part, has been pushing for greater defense cooperation among India, Japan and Australia to counter China's assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region. The recent Obama-Modi summit led to the "joint strategic vision for Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region" with a direct reference to South China Sea, where China is locked in territorial disputes with its neighbours.
Both Japan and Australia are also keen to participate in the annual Indo-US Malabar naval exercise on a regular basis, which has riled China in the past.