SOURCE: Anand SG / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India’s Submarine Acquisition plans have been facing several years of delays leading to an ageing fleet of submarines which needs urgent replacement to get India’s Submarine fleet back on track. Project-75I after years of delays seems to be a non-starter for various reasons and recent data leak of Six Scorpene submarine under development under Project-75 also has come as a severe blow to Indian Navy’s Submarine programme.
Good Friend, Russia which is keen on participating in India’s Project-75I, to supply Six Conventional Submarines with Air-independent propulsion (AIP) after touring Indian Private shipyards had peace of advice to Indian Government on how plans to “Make In India ” Submarines under Project-75I tender will not be able to fast track submarine requirement of India.
Russia officials had informed Indian government that many of the Public and Private sector shipyards in India simply don’t have expertise, infrastructure and manpower to absorb Transfer of Technology to construct submarines in India.
Citing issues faced by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in absorbing Scorpene submarine Transfer of Technology even after been the only shipyard in India with experience in development of submarines, other shipyards relatively with no experience will have to go through same issues and delays before they can absorb Transfer of Technology to construct submarines under Project-75I tender.
Russia’s word of advice to India was that due to lack of expertise and experience of submarine constructions, any winning bidder should construct two submarines in its own shipyard but also train Indian workers in shipyards to gain work on hands experience so that it can be replicated back in selected shipyards back home in India.
Russian officials had cautioned India that going for all out 6 Submarine construction plans in India will lead to serious delays for sure which will result into to serious vacuum in Indian Navy’s Submarine fleet.
Indian Navy to had made similar suggestions to the government that construction of all Six submarines will lead to serious delays and had made suggestion to go for follow-on orders for 3 Scorpene submarines and also acquiring 2-3 Russian Kilo Class Submarines in Government to Government deal to help fast track submarine acquisitions.