The Indian Navy has issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) for shortlisting potential strategic partners for the construction of six P-75 (I) submarines, the defence ministry said on Thursday. A major boost to the 'Make In India' initiative, the project would cost nearly Rs 45,000 crore.
"As a major initiative towards 'Make in India', the government immediately on taking over has issued the Expression of Interest(s) for shortlisting of potential Indian Strategic Partners (SPs) for "Construction of six Conventional Submarines" for P-75(I) Project of the Indian Navy on June 20," the Navy said in a press statement read by IndiaToday.
The government with this programme under its flagship Make in India initiative has taken a decisive step towards developing advanced submarines for the naval branch of the Indian armed forces. This is the second such project undertaken by the NDA government under the latest Strategic Partnership (SP) Model where private players are invited to bid for a major defence contract. The first project cleared by the government was the procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH).
This new initiative would provide a big boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India and will bring in the latest submarine design and technologies, the Navy said.
"The Indian companies would be shortlisted based on their capability for integration of system of systems, expertise in shipbuilding domain and the financial strength. The OEMs would be shortlisted primarily based on their submarine design meeting the Indian Navy's Qualitative Requirements and qualifying the Transfer of Technology and Indigenous Content (IC) criteria," the Defence Ministry said.
"This will be an important step towards meeting broader national objectives, encouraging self-reliance and aligning the defence sector with the 'Make in India' initiative of the government," it added.
The project got the Defence Acquisition Council's approval on January 31 after which the EoI for shortlisting Indian players has been uploaded on Ministry of Defence and Indian Navy websites. The potential SPs are expected to reply to the EoI within two months.
Following this, the EoI for pre-qualification of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) will be issued in two weeks, the Navy stated. The SPs in collaboration with OEMs have been tasked to set up dedicated manufacturing lines for these submarines in India. This is being done to make India a global hub for submarine design and production.
"All six submarines under this project will be built in India by the selected Indian Strategic Partner in collaboration with the selected OEM. In addition, the Indian Navy would have the option to manufacture six more submarines under the project," the Defence Ministry said.