India’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has given the approval to indigenously build six Indian Navy submarines, at a cost of more than Rs400bn ($5.59bn).
The submarines will be constructed under the Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) strategic partnership (SP) model that seeks to strengthen the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme.
Under the SP model, an Indian Strategic Partner will tie up with foreign original equipment manufacturer to establish production facilities in the country for indigenously manufacturing defence systems.
India aims to promote a greater level of indigenous manufacturing through the transfer of niche technologies to attain self-sufficiency for meeting the future needs of the country’s armed forces.
The Indian Navy submarines project is the second to be cleared under the SP model after the project to indigenously produce 111 Naval Utility Helicopters was approved in August last year.
The MOD noted that the construction of six submarines under Project 75(I) will bolster the existing submarine design and manufacturing eco-system in the country through the transfer of design and equipment technology as well as necessary skill sets.
The project aims to build six diesel-electric submarines equipped with advanced air-independent propulsion systems to enable them to stay underwater for a period of time and to enhance their operational range.
In July last year, the Press Trust of India reported that French firm Naval Group, Russia’s Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Sweden’s Saab group are interested to participate in Project 75(I).
In another move, the DAC, headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, has given the go-ahead for the procurement of around 5,000 Milan anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian Army.