Indian Navy (IN) has issued a Request For Information (RFI) to six foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the $9.6 billion submarine project to build six advanced diesel-electric AIP submarines.
“The Indian Navy has issued an RFI asking competent companies that have independently designed and constructed a modern submarine, which is either currently in service or is undergoing sea trials,” confirmed officials who got the RFI, adding that “the L1 for P-75(I) will most likely be announced only at the end of next year.”
The OEMs to whom RFI is issued are Russia’s Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau, France’s Naval Group (earlier DCNS), Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Spain’s Navantia, Sweden’s Saab Kockums and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI).
The possible contenders for the project are Rubin Amur 1650, Naval Group Advanced Scorpene class, TKMS Type 214 class, Navantia S-80, Saab Kockum A26 and Soryu class from Japan.
A surprise contender among the six OEMs is Japan’s leading shipbuilders MHI and KHI, which have been “strongly promoting their technological prowess to win contracts to build India’s next generation of submarines,” said the sources.
“The manufacture of six next-generation stealth submarines has moved to the crucial next stage with this RFI,” said an official, who bagged the RFI, seeking anonymity. “Qualified OEMs, which are the technology provider, will be issued an expression of interest (EoI) much later by the Indian Navy. This (foreign OEMs) is patented under India’s newly-announced Strategic Partnership Model in the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016,” the official added.
Indian Navy Project 75I Submarine:
Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarines of the Indian Navy to acquire 6 diesel-electric submarines.
The project got clearance from India’s Defence Acquisition Council on October 2014.
Submarines will feature Air-independent propulsion (AIP) fuel cells which enable them to stay submerged for longer duration (long endurance) and substantially increase their operational range.
The Project 75I-class submarines will have a vertical launch system (VLS) to enable them to carry multiple Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles, making the submarines fully capable of anti-surface and anti-ship warfare missions. Project 75I submarines will also be armed with torpedoes.
The submarines will feature advanced stealth capabilities such as a greater ability to suppress noise and acoustic signatures.
All six submarines are expected to be constructed in Indian shipyards. The Navy shortlisted 5 shipyards which include Hindustan Shipyard, Mazagon Dock, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Larsen & Toubro and Pipavav Shipyard.
Foreign OEM winning the competition will collaborate with an Indian partner to build the submarines in India.