Modi Government Invites Global Warship Makers To Build Six Submarines in India For $6.6 Billion To Boost Shipyard Capability
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian Navy submarines. (Photo Credit: PTI/Wikimedia Commons)

New Delhi, July 11: With an aim to boost local shipyard capability in the elite Naval forces and plug the gaps in its underwater warfare fleet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led administration has asked global warship makers to submit proposals to build six conventional submarines in India at a cost of Rs 450 billion ($6.6 billion).

For the plan to work, the Centre had asked France’s Naval Group SA, German Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmBH, Swedish Saab Kockums, Spanish Navantia SA and Russian Rosoboronexport OJSC, in transferring the technology to build the diesel-electric powered submarines in India itself, if they agree. The information was shared by people familiar with the matter said in the national capital on condition of anonymity, reports The Hindustan Times. INS Vikrant, India's First Indigenously Developed Aircraft Carrier, to be Delivered to Indian Navy in 2021, Says Vice Admiral AK Saxena

Though the request for expression of interest (REOI) to foreign companies was issued last month, awarding the contract might take at least three years. It is to be known that a separate expression of interest (EOI) was issued on June 20 by the Modi 2.0 government, requesting the foreign companies for Indian shipyard to build the submarines at a cost of Rs 450 billion ($6.6 billion). This has already been delayed by at least three years.

Apart from the foreign companies, two Indian private companies - Larsen & Toubro Ltd and Reliance Naval & Engineering Ltd. - have been asked to respond by Indian shipyards. Also, state-owned groups Mazagon Docks & Engineers, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Goa Shipyard Ltd, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd and Cochin Shipyard Ltd. have also been issued RoEI.

These firms, after selection, would tie up with the chosen foreign company in order to establish dedicated manufacturing lines for the submarines in India. Under the project, six more submarines are likely to be built. Considering the strength of the Indian Navy, currently, India has just 13 conventional submarines, all at least 20 years old. According to the previously approved plan, 24 conventional submarines by 2030 was to be inducted in the Indian Navy.  INS Vikrant, Indigenous-Built Aircraft Carrier, 'Will Be Delivered to Indian Navy by 2021', Says Admiral Sunil Lanba.

But, due to delay in building six French Naval Group-assisted Scorpene submarines at the state-owned Mazagon Docks and Engineers, things are yet to take a final shape. Other than this, India too has a locally-manufactured nuclear-armed vessel and a nuclear-powered vessel borrowed from Russia in 2012, which has been acquired on a 10-year lease worth $1 billion.