The Nirmala Sitharaman-headed Defence Acquisition Council cleared the
much-awaited Project 75 India (P75I), which envisages the construction
of six conventional submarines with better sensors and weapons and the
Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP). The project has been cleared
under the strategic partnership model.
India’s current arsenal consists of 14 conventional submarines and two nuclear-powered submarines.
the strategic partnership model, an Indian shipyard will be selected by
the government, which will also nominate the foreign original equipment
manufacturer (OEM) under the overall arch of ‘Make in India’.
P75I was first cleared in 2007, but lay dormant until now after undergoing numerous changes.
India’s 30-year plan ::
P75I project is part of a 30-year submarine building plan that ends in
2030. As part of this plan, India was to build 24 submarines — 18
conventional submarines and six nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs) — as
an effective deterrent against China and Pakistan.
minister Manohar Parrikar had said in 2016 that the submarine plan
should continue till 2050, and that India should look to build more than
24 such vessels.
Of the 14 conventional submarines India
currently possesses, including the Scorpene, only half are operational
at any given point of time. India also has two nuclear-powered
submarines — INS Arihant (SSBN, a ballistic missile submarine) and INS
Chakra (SSN, a nuclear-powered one) leased from Russia.
Firms in contention for P75I ::
Four foreign firms have so far responded to the Indian government’s request for proposal for the project.
are French firm Naval Group, Russia’s Rosoboronexport Rubin Design
Bureau, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Sweden’s Saab.
Indian shipyards in contention ::
Ministry of Defence had appointed a high-powered committee to assess
the eight Indian shipyards and select the one eligible for the project.
The eight-member committee, which studied both public and private shipyards, is believed to have cleared all eight shipyards.
it is expected that the state-run Mazagon Dockyard Limited (MDL), which
manufactures the Scorpene submarines, is likely to bag the deal.
Private player Larsen & Toubro may be also be in contention for the project.
Submarine strength of China and Pakistan ::
Pakistan Navy is estimated to have 10 submarines, of which five
French-origin Agosta 90B class (Khalid class) conventional vessels are
fully operational, according to the Indian Navy.
signed a deal for eight conventional submarines with China, after it
failed to get the vessels from France and Germany due to price and
technology transfer issues.
It is estimated that China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has four Jin-class SSBNs and nine SSNs.
Estimates also suggest China has a fleet of 40-plus diesel-electric submarines beset by maintenance issues.