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The Spanish Navy’s recent commissioning of its first S-80 Plus-class submarine has drawn interest from the Indian Navy as it seeks to acquire six next-generation submarines under Project 75(I).

The Indian Navy’s Project-75(I) seeks to acquire six AIP-equipped conventional submarines to enhance its underwater capabilities. In July 2021, a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued, inviting bids from international shipyards. Both Navantia and TKMS submitted their bids before the August 2023 deadline.

Navantia, the state-owned shipyard responsible for the S-80 Plus, has offered its advanced submarines to India, alongside extensive crew training, technology transfer, and support in building domestic submarine manufacturing capabilities.

Facing stiff competition from Germany’s TKMS with its U-214/212 submarines, Navantia has presented a compelling case with a crucial advantage: a significantly lower price per unit. Sources familiar with the matter have told that the cost difference is substantial, potentially putting pressure on TKMS to revise its bid or risk losing the tender to the Spanish contender.

Navantia’s competitive bid, coupled with the S-80 Plus’s advanced features, could significantly impact the outcome of the P-75(I) project. The Indian Navy faces a crucial decision: prioritize lower per-unit cost or opt for the U-214/212’s potentially superior technology.

The Indian Navy is expected to carefully evaluate both proposals, considering factors such as performance, cost, and technology transfer. Ultimately, the choice will depend on which bid best aligns with their long-term strategic goals and vision for a robust submarine fleet.

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