In a bid to push underwater warfare capabilities of the Indian Navy, the Centre has sought requests for expression of interest from leading international warship builders for the construction of six conventional diesel-electric powered submarines domestically, reports Business Standard.
The companies who have been invited to submit proposals are Spain’s Navantia SA, German Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmBH, Sweden’s Saab Kockums, Russia’s Rosoboronexport OJSC and France’s Naval Group SA. They have also been asked to reveal whether they will be able to deliver on the transfer of technology aspect of such a contract.
The Modi government wants at least 50 per cent indigenous produced content in the new submarine programme, which is likely to cost around $6.6 billion. Currently, the Indian Navy only possesses an ageing fleet of 13 conventional submarines. The aim is to sharply plug this shortfall through the procurement of 24 conventional submarines before 2030.
On the other hand, China already has a huge advantage over India in terms of submarine numbers; it’s conventional fleet itself numbers 50 as of now, and the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is expected to see this number rise to 65-70 by next year.
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