As a major initiative towards ‘Make in India’, Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued Request of Proposal (RFP) for the first acquisition programme under the Strategic Partnership Model for construction of six AIP fitted Conventional Submarines named Project 75(India) [P-75(I)] for the Indian Navy.
, on July 20, 2021. The RFP was issued to shortlisted Strategic Partners (SPs) or Indian Applicant Companies for the project viz, M/s Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and M/s Larsen & Tubro (L&T). The project cost is over Rs 40,000 crore.
Project-75(I) envisages indigenous construction of six modern conventional submarines (including associated shore support, Engineering Support Package, training, and spares package) with contemporary equipment, weapons & sensors including Fuel-Cell based AIP (Air Independent Propulsion Plant), advanced torpedoes, modern missiles and state of the art countermeasure systems. This would provide a major boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India, in addition to bringing in the latest submarine design and technologies as part of the project.
Post receipt of responses to the Expression of Interest (EoI), shortlisting of potential Strategic Partners (SPs) and Foreign OEMs was undertaken. The shortlisted SPs to whom the RFP has been issued would be collaborating with any of the shortlisted Foreign OEMs viz, M/s Naval Group-France, M/s TKMS-Germany, M/s JSC ROE-Russia, M/s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd-South Korea and M/s Navantia-Spain.
These five foreign firms are the world leaders in the field of conventional submarine design, construction, and all other related technologies. The foreign OEMs will be the technology partner in the SP Model. Foreign OEMs will enable SP for construction of submarines, achieving high levels of indigenization, and ToT for various technologies. These OEMs would enable setting up of dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines in India by providing ToT for submarine design and other technologies and make India the global hub for submarine design and production.
The project would not only aid in boosting the core submarine/ship building industry but would also greatly enhance manufacturing/industrial sector, especially the MSME by development of an industrial eco-system for manufacture of associated spares/systems/equipment related to submarines. In order to achieve these objectives, the RFP has key features like mandatory level of indigenous manufacture of platforms, ToT for design/ manufacture/ maintenance of submarines and a few critical equipment and systems, setting up of an eco-system in India for such indigenization and incentivization for other key technologies, etc.
The overall aim would be to progressively build indigenous capabilities in the public/private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon systems for the future needs of the Armed Forces. This will be an important step towards meeting broader national objectives, encouraging self reliance and aligning the defence sector with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.