The Government of India has issued a request of proposal (RFP) for Project 75 (India) [P-75(I)], which involves the construction of six air-independent propulsion (AIP) fitted conventional submarines.

The RFP was issued to the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Larsen & Tubro (L&T). The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the issuance of RFP last month, kickstarting the project.

This is the first project under the strategic partnership model that will enable local companies to deliver high-end military platforms in India in partnership with foreign firms.

Overall, the project is expected to cost around $5.36bn (Rs400bn).

Project-75(I) involves developing six modern conventional submarines indigenously with contemporary equipment, weapons and sensors, including Fuel-Cell based AIP, advanced torpedoes, modern missiles, and the latest countermeasure systems.

The acquisition will bolster the capabilities of the Indian Navy, while also providing a major boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India.

The shortlisted strategic partners (SPs), MDL and L&T, can now collaborate with shortlisted foreign OEMs Naval Group-France, TKMS-Germany, JSC ROE-Russia, Daewoo Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering, and Navantia-Spain.

These foreign firms will be the technology partner in the SP Model, enabling the construction of submarines by transferring necessary technologies.

They will also help in establishing dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines.

The Indian Ministry of Defence said in a statement: “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, (through the) development of an industrial eco-system for (the) 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, transfer of technology (ToT) for design/ manufacture/maintenance of submarines, and a few critical equipment and systems, setting up of an eco-system in India for such indigenisation and incentivisation for other key technologies.”