India’s ambitious submarine program, aimed at promoting self-sufficiency in designing and building submarines, has come under scrutiny due to its exorbitant costs and questionable outcomes. With a significant investment of 5700 crores for the Transfer of Technology (ToT) of six Scorpene conventional submarines, the program was envisioned to bolster India’s indigenous submarine capabilities. However, the program’s progress has been lackluster, leaving doubts about India’s ability to develop its own submarines, despite the forthcoming tender under P-75’I’ that promises further expenditure.

The primary objective of the Indian submarine program was to reduce dependency on foreign imports and establish a robust domestic submarine manufacturing industry. However, the significant amount spent on acquiring ToT for the Scorpene submarines has not yielded the desired results. The program’s failure to achieve self-sufficiency in submarine design and construction raises concerns about the efficiency of the investment and the management of resources.

The staggering amount of 5700 crores invested in acquiring ToT for the Scorpene submarines highlights the immense financial burden borne by the Indian defense budget. This allocation of funds could have been utilized in other critical areas, such as modernizing existing infrastructure, enhancing training capabilities, or investing in research and development for indigenous defense technologies. Instead, the submarine program has absorbed substantial resources without demonstrating commensurate progress towards achieving its stated goals.

In light of the escalating costs and uncertain returns, it is imperative for the Indian defense authorities to conduct a thorough and objective evaluation of the submarine program. This evaluation should encompass a comprehensive analysis of the existing challenges, potential risks, and feasibility of achieving self-sufficiency in submarine design and manufacturing. Such a strategic assessment would help determine the program’s viability, identify areas for improvement, and ensure optimal utilization of defense resources.