DAC approves procurement of six subs for Rs 43,000 crore; Still a long way to go!

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Updated: June 04, 2021 4:18 PM

According to reports, South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in response to an EoI had pitched the KSS-3 submarine earlier.

Last year, the MoD was expected to issue the RFP for six submarines. (Representational image)

On Friday, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) put its stamp of approval for the procurement of six submarines under Project-75I (Strategic Partnership route) worth over ₹43,000 cr. Financial Express Online has earlier reported that two Indian companies and five foreign OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) have already been shortlisted.

“However, there is still a long way to go. In a regular procurement process, it takes around 3-4 years to clear various stages. In this case, there is no clarity on how much time it will take,” says a senior officer.

What is Project 75 (I)?

This is strategically significant naval programmes, being undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) within the new decade. Another important aspect about this project is that it is in line with the government’s Strategic Partnership (SP) Model.

Also, under the SP, this is the second project to be processed and the submarines are going to be built in India through the Transfer of Technology (ToT) by the OEMs. These submarines are going to be equipped with the the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system, according to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence.

Why the SP Model?

This model is being adopted for such critical programmes to ensure the building capacity of the Indian Industry which according to model will help in local manufacturing of major platforms.

Delay in the issuance of RFP

Last year, the MoD was expected to issue the RFP for six submarines. However, it got delayed due to several reasons including some legal and technical issues that needed more clarity.

Read | The wait for more submarines gets longer! Project 75 I gets delayed further

As reported earlier, there will be two sets of RFPs that will be issued: The two shortlisted Strategic Partners (SP) – Mumbai based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will get.

Simultaneously, issuance of RFPs to the OEMs by the SP.

Also Read | Why India needs to pay far more attention to its Navy, particularly submarine capability

According to officials, Project 75 (I) is part of the Indian Navy’s 30 year Plan for indigenous submarine construction. This programme had received its approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999.

The decision was taken to help in creating two simultaneous submarine production lines where six submarines could be constructed at a time, and in collaboration with the OEMs. The idea was that such a step will help in streamlining the submarine acquisition process.

Why?

To help maintain a force level of 20 modern submarines in service.

Who are the SPs and OEMS for Project 75 (I)?

Two Strategic Partners have already been down selected: M/s MDL and L&T.

Five OEMs :

The Naval Group of France, which is already building the `Scorpene’ submarine under Project-75.

Navantia of Spain which has offered S-80 (Issac Peral class);

TKMS of Germany — Type 218 (Invincible Class);

Rosoboronexport of Russia has offered the Amur class submarine.

According to reports, South Korean company Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in response to an EoI had pitched the KSS-3 submarine earlier.

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