In a major push for the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Indian Navy is all set to issue the tender worth around Rs 50,000 crores to build six more advanced conventional submarines as the Defence Ministry is expected to discuss the project in detail on Friday at a high-level meeting.
“The high-level meeting would be discussing the project and is scheduled to take up the draft request for proposal for clearance after which the tender can be issued to the strategic partners,” government sources told ANI. The project named P-75 India has been in the making for a long time now and would be the successor to the Scorpene or Kalvari class submarines being built at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited in partnership with France.
The Navy has already identified and cleared MDL and Larsen and Toubro as the strategic partners that can tie up with five global manufacturers including French Naval Group, German TKMS, South Korean Daewoo, Spanish Navantia and Russian Rosoborboexport, sources said.
The Indian Navy has two major projects under the strategic partnership policy which had been envisaged to develop the indigenous private sector in defence as major producers but now it has also seen public sector firms taking part in it.
The Navy plans to acquire 24 new submarines, including six nuclear attack submarines, to bolster its underwater fighting capability. It currently has 15 conventional submarines and two nuclear submarines.
As per the requirements stated by the maritime force, it wants the submarines to be equipped with heavy-duty firepower as it wants the boats to have at least 12 Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) along with Anti-Ship cruise missiles (ASCM).
Sources said that the Navy has also specified that the submarines should also be able to carry and launch 18 heavyweight torpedoes in the sea.
Compared with the Scorpene, the firepower required in the next line of submarines is many times more than what is being put on the Scorpenes which have the heavyweight torpedoes and the Exocet surface to surface missiles as their main weapons.