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The Indian Navy has begun trials for building six highly advanced submarines in the country in a Rs 60,000 crore tender, as it is working towards the modernisation of its conventional submarine fleet. Indian Navy has issued a tender to Indian shipyards Mazagaon Dockyards Limited and Larsen and Toubro for building six submarines in partnership with foreign vendors.

The trials began in March this year when a team of Indian Navy visited Kiel in Germany to look at the Air Independent Propulsion system of the German submarine manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems at a German Navy facility, defence industry officials told ANI.

The German firm is partnering with the Indian Defence Ministry’s shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) for the mega tender. MDL is the prime partner in the tender where the indigenous content in the vessel would be more than 60 per cent. The second phase of the trial would be held in Spain where Spanish firm Navantia and Larsen and Toubro would be showcasing their AIP system at the June end, the officials said.

The AIP is the most important requirement given by the Indian Navy in the tender as it would give it the capability to stay underwater for longer periods, they added. Moreover, the Spanish firm would be using the Spanish Navy facilities for the Indian team, they said. Spain’s Navantia and Larsen & Toubro had signed a Teaming Agreement (TA) with the purpose of submitting a techno-commercial bid for the Indian Navy’s P75 (India) submarine program. Additionally, Project-75 (India) aims to procure diesel-electric attack submarines with fuel cells and an Air-Independent Propulsion System (AIP) for the Indian Navy. The boats would be bigger in size and more advanced in capabilities than the existing boats due to the AIP. (