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The Indian Navy recently completed its evaluation of Navantia’s S80 submarine, a contender for Project 75I, a program to acquire six next-generation submarines. The evaluation took place at a shipyard in Cartagena, Spain, last week.

A key highlight was Navantia’s showcase of their Bioethanol Stealth Technology (BEST) Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system. This land-based demonstration offered a glimpse into their 3rd generation AIP technology, which the company claims surpasses the fuel-cell based AIP offered by its competitor, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) of Germany.

The Indian Navy team had previously evaluated the U-212 submarines offered by TKMS in Germany back in March.

Both Navantia’s S80 and TKMS’s U-212 submarines are vying for a lucrative contract under Project 75I, which aims to procure six advanced submarines for the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy team will submit a comprehensive evaluation report to headquarters later this year. This report will be meticulously analyzed before a final decision is made.

Navantia’s focus on bioethanol-based AIP, a potentially quieter and more efficient technology, could be a significant advantage, but TKMS developed U-212 submarines are widely used by many operators and has proven record over Navantia that has only one submarine. However, the Indian Navy will weigh all aspects before selecting a winner.

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