SOURCE: RAJESH AHUJA / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Indian Navy’s tender for six diesel submarines under Project-75I is fast becoming a non-starter with four submarine manufacturers have quit the race after they failed to meet requirements set by the Indian Navy and one withdrew from the race after it didn’t want to transfer technology that they were keen on protecting due to which this has created single vendor situation in the whole tender process that is likely will result into cancellation of the tender.
With Project-75 nearing its completion with the last of the submarine entering the water it will still take nearly two years before it is cleared for induction after, the conclusion of the user trials of the submarine but till then India’s premier shipyard will be the idle capacity that India had build painstakingly over the years.
Indian Navy recently brainstormed its future requirements is still mum on that plan of action has been decided to boost underwater capabilities of the Navy as four German submarines are nearing their shelf life and 8 out of 10 Kilo-class submarines are also due to refurbishment with one likely to be handed over to DRDO to be used as a research testbed for testing AIP and other indigenous components and systems on the submarines.
Under Project-76, the Indian Navy has planned to develop a new line of indigenous but the Indian Navy still thinks that the technology required to develop next-gen diesel submarines still doesn’t exist in the country. Navy arguments have been that Project-75I is required so that it can be used as a base for the development of 12 next-gen diesel submarines in the country.
But all indications are that Project-75I will be a non-starter since most of the countries have quit the race and some are not keen on sharing technology that the Indian Navy desires. It’s time for DRDO, MDL, and other associate labs to come together and rope in private sector companies and use French or Germans as consultants to develop a new line of submarines in India.
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