"The Navy has initiated the process of acquisition of six more diesel-electric submarines and has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to major manufacturers across the globe," top Defence Ministry sources told PTI today.
"The Defence Ministry will now await responses from these companies and will follow it up with global tenders or Request for Proposals (RFP) next year," they said.
In all, Navy plans to procure 30 new submarines to have formidable underwater fighting capabilities.
India already has 16 submarines of the Russian Kilo and German HDW Shishumar Class.
Among the countries from where India is seeking information are France, Russia and Italy, all with major submarine manufacturing capabilities.
The new submarines would be procured as a follow-on of the six Scorpene submarines being built at the Defence Public Sector Undertaking shipyard, Mazagon Dockyards Limited (MDL), in Mumbai.
"The additional six submarines will start joining the Indian Navy fleet after all the first set of six Scorpenes have joined the naval fleet," the sources said.
The Navy would continue to place orders for new submarines after the completion of procurement of these new submarines, which is expected to take at least three to four years.
The Navy intends to build 30 new submarines under Project-75 and all of them would be constructed in India. The future submarines to be built under the project would be added with latest armament, sensor and other essential hi-tech equipment, sources said.
Interestingly, the new submarines construction order may not go to MDL this time, as the Navy would like to develop another shipyard with submarine-building capabilities within the country, sources said.
India signed the Rs 16,000-crore contract for six submarines in October 2005. New Delhi had to upgrade the MDL infrastructure and facilities for constructing the six Scorpenes in collaboration with French consortium, DCNS.
The first Scorpene from MDL is expected to join the Indian Navy by the end of 2012. The remaining five would join the Navy at the rate of one each per year from 2013. All the six submarines would added lethal power to the Indian Navy by year 2018, sources said.