The Centre has reportedly shortlisted global warship makers, including Russia's Rosoboronexport and French firm Naval Group, to build six submarines for the Navy. The project cost is about Rs 50,000 crore.
The other shortlisted foreign players include South Korean Daewo, German Thysenkrupp Marine Systems and Spanish Navantia. The Indian shipyards selected under the process include Larsen & Toubro and state-owned firm Mazagon Docks & Engineers, reported ANI.
Earlier today, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved shortlisting of Indian Strategic Partners (SP) and the potential Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that would collaborate with SPs to construct six conventional submarines in India. However, the ministry did not disclose the name of shortlisted players. The meeting was also attended by newly appointed CDS General Bipin Rawat.
This programme comes under the 'Strategic Partnership Model', promulgated in 2017 to give a major boost to 'Make in India' in defence sector. SP Model aims at promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment, in addition to establishing an industrial and R&D eco-system capable of meeting the future requirements of the Armed Forces besides giving boost to exports.
"The strategic partner is expected to play a transformational role in building an eco-system in the country, comprising development entities, specialised vendors and suppliers; especially those from the MSME sector," Ministry of Defence said in a statement.
The DAC, in its first meeting of 2020 and after the constitution of Chief of the Defence Staff, also approved proposal for inclusion of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) in Defence procurement procedure. "This would provide avenues in capital procurement for the Armed Forces to startups and innovators working for iDEX and provide huge fillip to their budding efforts," the ministry said.
"Today's decisions are also in keeping with the mandate given to the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the newly-constituted Department of Military Affairs to promote use of indigenous hardware by the services," Ministry of Defence said.
To promote indigenisation, the DAC approved procurement of equipment worth over Rs 5,100 crore from indigenous sources. These include sophisticated electronic warfare systems for the Army designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured locally by the Indian industry. These systems will be used in deserts and plains and will provide comprehensive electronic support and counter measure capabilities to the field formations in both communication and other aspects of electronic warfare.
The DAC also approved prototype testing of trawl assemblies designed by DRDO for T-72 and T-90 tanks providing an important indigenous de-mining capability to the Army.
By Chitranjan Kumar