The Indian Defence Ministry has approved a Rs500bn ($10.7bn) project to build six new-generation submarines for the Indian Navy.

Under the programme, which is codenamed Project-75 India (P-75I), all six diesel electric submarines will be built with air-independent propulsion systems and incorporate stealth, land-attack capability and a wide range of next-generation technologies, according to the Times of India.

The request for proposal will be issued to global submarine manufacturers, including Rosoboronexport of Russia, DCNS/Armaris of France, HDW of Germany and Navantia of Spain.

The construction cost for each of the six submarines will be around Rs85bn ($1.8bn).

Three of the six submarines will be built at Mazagon Docks (MDL) in Mumbai. One will be built at Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam, in cooperation with a foreign company.

The remaining two submarines are expected to be directly imported from the foreign collaborator or constructed at a private shipyard in India.

The first submarine under P-75I is expected to be launched in six to seven years, according to a defence official.

Currently, the Indian Navy operates an aging fleet of 15 diesel-electric submarines. It is scheduled to commission six French Scorpene submarines being built at MDL under the ongoing Project-75 from 2012.