India invites proposal for six new submarines
The Union defence ministry has invited proposal from Indian companies to partner foreign firms to manufacture six new submarines under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The project is expected to cost about ₹45,000 crore.
The government on Thursday issued the Expression of Interest (EoI) — a process to shortlist Indian companies as Strategic Partners — to construct six conventional submarines, said a defence ministry spokesperson. A similar EoI to select the foreign companies who will partner the Indian companies will be issued in two weeks, the ministry added. In January, the defence ministry had cleared the construction of the submarines.
Conventional submarines are crucial for “sea- denial”, not allowing the enemy space to operate in the sea. The Indian submarine arm is depleted and weak. In contrast to about 24 conventional submarines required to police Indian Ocean Region, it has only a handful of submarines that are available for deployment at all times. China has 60 conventional and nuclear submarines.
Earlier, the ministry had appointed a committee – Admiral Subhedar committee – to identify Indian shipyards that could manufacture the submarines. But, instead of identifying a yard, it had come up with technical and financial specifications required for the shipyards to be able to compete to construct submarines. The bids of the Indian Shipyards and that of the foreign manufacturers will be evaluated and shortlisted. Indian shipyard and the foreign manufacturer will tie-up to manufacture submarines in Indian shipyards.
Submarines are extremely complex platforms, manufacturing submarines in India would boost the indigenous industry, design and construction capability.