Indian MoD Shortlists Two Local Shipyards, Five Foreign OEMs for Project 75(I) AIP Attack Submarine Program

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has shortlisted two local shipyards and five foreign shipbuilding original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for the Navy’s Project 75(India), or P75(I), AIP attack submarine program.

The two shortlisted local shipyards are private shipbuilder Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) while the five shortlisted foreign OEMs are ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS, Germany), Navantia (Spain) and Naval Group (France), Rubin Design Bureau (Russia), and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME, South Korea).

The MoD will now issue Request for Proposals (RFPs) to L&T and MDL, which is expected later this year. The two companies will then submit a detailed bid to the Ministry after selecting a foreign partner out of the five shortlisted entities.

The selected Indian strategic partner will collaborate with the foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of the winning design for the construction of the submarines at its facility with Transfer of Technology (ToT).

The designs offered by the five foreign OEMs for the Indian P75I AIP submarine program are:

+ Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) – Type 214-class
+ Spain’s Navantia – S-80 Plus
+ France’s Naval Group (earlier DCNS) – Advanced Scorpene-class or the newer SMX 3.0 concept
+ Russia’s Rosoboronexport-Rubin Design Bureau – Rubin Amur 1650
+ Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) – KSS-III

Sweden’s Saab Kockums offering its A26 design and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) offering its Soryu-class design withdrew earlier in the OEM competition. A joint strategic partner bid by private shipbuilder Adani Group and state-owned Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) was rejected by the MoD.

Project 75I is a follow-on program to the Indian Navy’s Project 75 which led to the procurement of modified Scorpene-class submarines developed by France’s Naval Group. The six Scorpene submarines, known locally as Kalvari-class, are being constructed at Indian state-owned shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).

The construction of the P75I submarines was approved by the Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Jan. 31 last year, at a cost of over Rs. 40,000 crores (USD5.62 billion). The Project 75I-class submarines will feature advanced air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems which enable them to stay submerged for a longer duration (long endurance) and substantially increase their operational range.

The new submarines will be equipped with a vertical launch system (VLS) to enable them to carry multiple BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, making the submarines fully capable of land attack and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) missions.

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