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The Dutch government’s decision to award a submarine construction contract to French company Naval Group has sent ripples across the international defense scene. This deal, seen as a lifeline for the Dutch shipbuilding industry, could also have significant implications for India’s own ambitious submarine program.

Naval Group will provide the Netherlands with four conventionally powered Barracuda-class submarines, replacing their aging Walrus-class fleet. This win comes three years after the company lost a major Australian contract for 12 submarines.

The deal has garnered attention in India, where the Navy is looking to develop next-generation submarines under Project-76. Notably, Naval Group has offered conventional technology to India that could be used in this project.

One key area of interest for India is pump-jet propulsion technology, considered a game-changer in submarine design. While the Indian Navy is keen on this technology, concerns exist regarding its cost. Naval Group’s pump-jet systems are currently used only on French nuclear-powered submarines, leading to limited production and potentially higher costs for a conventionally powered version.

The Dutch contract could provide India with leverage in negotiating the price of pump-jet technology from Naval Group. With a larger production base catering to both the Dutch and potentially Indian submarines, costs could become more favorable.

While details remain to be seen, the Dutch submarine deal could pave the way for India to acquire advanced French technology for its next-generation submarines. Negotiations regarding pump-jet propulsion and its cost will likely be a key focus as India and Naval Group move forward.