The Indian Navy has signed a contract with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to extend the service life of the INS Shankush HDW Class-209 Type 1500 submarine, in close partnership with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, which is acting as a general contractor up till on-time delivery of the submarine. 

Over the next three years the Shankush, the second of India’s four in-service HDW submarines, will undergo overhaul and modernisation, with ThyssenKrupp responsible for selected material packages, onsite technical support and a pressure hull inspection.

The Indian Navy’s fleet of conventional submarines has been shown in dire need of modernisation after the Pakistan Navy’s acquisition of 8 Yuan class submarines, which are expected for delivery by the end of 2023. The services contract for the Shankush, announced 27 August, follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ThyssenKrupp and Mazagon in June this year for the local construction of six new Indian Navy submarines – a tender won by ThyssenKrupp in close competition against the partnership of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Hyundai Heavy Industries.  

In an earlier contract between ThyssenKrupp and Mazagon, a medium refit cum life certification signed in 2018, extended the service life of India’s first HDW submarine, the INS Shishumar, by ten years. That modernisation will be completed this year, after sea trials.

The HDW submarines were built in the 1980’s as part of German-Indian cooperation, when Thyssenkrupp and Mazagon partnered for the construction of the four Indian Navy diesel-electric submarines, building the Shishumar and Shankush in Germany and the remaining two boats in India.

According to GlobalData’s ‘India Defense Market 2023-2028’ report, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to manufacture submarines indigenously in order to boost the ‘Make in India’ concept. As an amendment to the Defence Procurement Procedure in 2017, the MoD detailed the Strategic Partnership Model, wherein the Indian MoD would choose foreign original equipment manufacturers and Indian partners to co-produce strategic defence equipment, inclusive of submarines, to develop domestic capacity within key-areas.

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In 2022, 68% of of the overall acquisition budget was earmarked for domestic defence acquisitions, directing $12.8bn to Indian contractors from defence spending worth $18.9bn.