India's top government committee has selected five Indian shipyards to compete for an Rs 64,000-crore ($10.1 Bln) project to build high-tech submarines for the navy.
The Indian Navy will
soon invite tenders for building six conventional submarines after a high-level committee of the Defence Ministry submitted
its report identifying shipyards capable of executing the project.
“The Committee has visited all the shipyards in the country and has submitted its report recently. It is under consideration of the Defence Ministry,” defence sources said. Six advanced submarines will be built under project P-75I.
Besides the state-run shipyards, private players like Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company, in which Anil Ambani-led ADAG has announced its decision to pick up a controlling stake, are eyeing the mega deal.
The shipyards, identified after a seven-month rigorous process, will be invited to submit bids to build the submarines in partnership with foreign yards of their choice.
Defence sources had earlier said both L&T and Pipavav are strong contenders, besides the state-run Mazagon Dockyard Limited (MDL). MDL is already making six Scorpene submarines. Asked if MDL would be the natural winner, sources said, the eco-system has to be developed and hinted that the order may go to a particular shipyard which could then outsource a part of the project to others.
German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems with its HDW Type 214 submarine, Russia’s Rubin Design Bureau’s Amur 1650 boats, French DCNS with its Scorpene platform, Spain’s Navantia S-80 class and Sweden
’s Saab Kockums’ with its A26 submarines have shown interest in the project to build a second line of submarines in India.
The Navy currently has 13 operational submarines and the target set in 1999 was to have 24 by 2030.