India is likely to go in for a government-to-government deal with Germany for heavyweight torpedos after having scrapped plans to purchase them from a subsidiary of chopper scam-tainted Italian defence conglomerate Finmeccanica.
Defence sources said the government had written to various countries looking for options.
The two torpedos that were of interest were F21 from France and SeaHake from Germany’s Atlas Elektronik.
Sources said the French wrote back saying they are willing to provide F21 but only for French submarines or those built with French help.
This meant that in case the French don’t make the cut in future submarine contracts with India, the government will have to look for options.
As per the plans, the torpedos that were to be fitted on the six under-construction Scorpene submarines being built in collaboration with France’s DCNS, would have eventually made it into the next project called P75 I and others.
Torpedoes are self-propelled weapons with explosives packed in their nose and are submarine’s primary weapon.
All alternatives are being worked out since we will not be going in for the Italian torpedos, defence sources said, adding, Atlas Elektronik is the front-runner.
The ministry had carried out a detailed study looking into various options before deciding to scrap the plans to procure Black Shark torpedoes, made by Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS), a subsidiary of Finmeccanica.
The company had emerged the lowest bidder during the UPA era to arm the Scorpene submarines the first of which will be handed over to the Navy by September this year.
However, the proposal to acquire it had been stuck for long time. Various controversies surrounded the deal which former Defence Minister A K Antony had not signed on.
The deal eventually got embroiled in the VVIP chopper scandal, sources said.
The Navy had been pushing for it citing “operational necessity”.