New Delhi: Indian government is set to acquire next generation submarines to boost capabilities of its Navy and deter China, which has dozens of conventional submarines in its fleet, reports Defence news.
The Indian newspaper, Hindustan Times quoted Navy chief Admiral DK Joshi as saying that country’s Defence Ministry’s acquisition council had given the go-ahead for buying six submarines under a project codenamed P-75I. He said a global tender would be floated “very soon”.He said the government is willing to spend more than $10 billion ( Rs 55,000 crore) to strengthen Indian Navy’s undersea combat capabilities.
Already, six Scorpene submarines are being built at the Mazagon Dock Ltd with technology from DCNS under a $4.3-billion ( Rs. 23,562 crore) project called P-75.
Joshi said the new subs – bigger than the Scorpene – would be equipped with air-independent propulsion systems to recharge their batteries without having to surface for more than three weeks.
“The submarines would also have land attack missile capability,” Indian defence minister AK Antony had told Parliament on Tuesday.
Companies from France, Germany, Russia, Spain to make bids ::
The shipbuilders DCNS of France, HDW of Germany, Rosoboronexport of Russia and Navantia of Spain are expected to make a bid for the order to build a second line of submarines in the country.
“Two of the new subs will be constructed at a foreign shipyard while the remaining will be built in India. We don’t yet know what the Indian Navy wants. But we will fulfil the navy’s requirements on the basic Scorpene platform,” DCNS chief operating officer Bernard Planchais told the newspaper.
Experts say Indian government’s move to acquire next generation submarines is aimed at boosting the capability of its navy and countering the threat emerging from Chinese naval fleet, which has more than 50 conventional submarines.
The Indian Navy’s existing submarine fleet comprises 10 Russian Kilo-class, four German HDWs and an Akula-2 nuclear-powered attack submarine leased from Russia at $1 billion.
It is pertinent to mention here that Indian government recently clinched $18-billion deal with France’s Dassault Aviation’s to equip its Air Force with Rafale fighters.