Navy plans new tech submarines

The Indian Navy will soon float a global tender inviting foreign arms companies to set up a new manufacturing line for submarines in collaboration with Indian dockyards.

“The request for proposal will be issued shortly as Defence Acquisition Council (headed by the defence minister) has approved it,” Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi said here on Monday.

Christened Project 75 (I), the second submarine line would create six submarines with air-independent propulsion technology at a cost of around Rs 25,000 crore as per the Navy's estimate.

AIP technology allows submarine to stay underwater for a longer period in comparison to the existing fleet.

The proposed second line would be a follow up to the Rs 18,798-crore project at Mazgaon dock in Mumbai for manufacturing six Scorpene submarines with French collaboration. All the six submarines are to be delivered between 2015 and 2018 – almost three years behind schedule.

Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory, Hyderabad was given contracts to develop indigenous AIP technology. If the DMRL’s timeline matched that of the production timeline for Scorpene, then AIP plugs could be installed in the last two Scorpene submarine as well, he said. Subsequent to the two production lines with foreign collaboration, all future submarines will be indigenous in accordance with the Navy's 30-year plan.

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