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 about $10.1 billion project.
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.
Defence sources had earlier said both L&T and Pipavav are strong contenders, besides the state-run Mazagon Dockyard Limited (MDL).
According to defence sources, the Committee has visited all the shipyards in the country and has submitted its report recently. It is under consideration of the Defence Ministry.
The Indian government has indicated that the tender for the same will be given by year end and the new Request of Information (RFI) is being presently processed.
It is intended to build six submarines over eight years. These will be next-generation submarines with air independent propulsion (AIP) systems, a senior official in the defence ministry stated
The AIP systems will enable greater underwater endurance and land-attack missiles. Besides, they will also incorporate stealth, land-attack capability and other technological advancements.
The six new submarines in P-75 I project will outline various critical parameters including the weight and design of the submarine. The Project 75I submarines are expected to be bigger than the 1800-ton Scorpene class being built for P-75 project.
The Navy currently has 13 operational submarines and the target set in 1999 was to have 24 by 2030. The previous UPA government had gone in for six Scorpene submarines and the first of the batch is likely to be delivered in September 2016.