Germany, Russia, Spain, France, Sweden and Japan have collaborated together to build six advanced stealth nuclear submarines in the Indian shipyard. After almost a 10-year delay, the estimation of the submarines is established at Rs.70,000 crores ($10.9 billion) for the creation.
This mega submarine programme called Project-75 (India) is supposedly the first colossal project that has been finalised by the defence of ministry this May. It received the government’s “acceptance of necessity” long back in November 2007, however, was subjected to political bureaucratic apathy all this while.
Request for information and request for proposal
Despite the lodging of this nuclear idea, the shipbuilders are yet to respond to the RFI (Request for Information) that has been given to them last week and is to be submitted by this September. The six shipbuilders are Navantia (Spain), Mitsubishi-Kawasaki Heavy Industries combine (Japan), Naval Group-DCNS (France), Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau (Russia), Saab (Sweden) and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (Germany).
The Navy then is to construct the NSQRs (naval staff qualitative requirements) prior to the RFP (request for proposal) issued to the shipbuilders for presenting their commercial and technical bids for evaluation. Subsequently, the Indian shipyard would be chosen to collaborate with the foreign builders in the process.
What would they specialise in?
The Navy has insisted that the six diesel-electric submarines should include air-independent propulsion for better underwater tolerance, install land-attack cruise missiles, and have the capacity to integrate aboriginal weapons as and when developed.
According to an official, the real work lies in the transformation of thetechnology of OEM to indigenisation. The submarines are to be built with indigenous steel to attain a low-maintenance project so that the amount of downtime decreases.
What does the project propose?
As per the approved project plan, the Navy should have four nuclear-powered submarines with long-range nuclear-tipped missiles (SSBNs) for creating a substantial barrier against Pakistan and China, six nuclear power-attacked submarines and eighteen diesel-electric submarines. But the Navy has determined the operation of only 13 old conventional submarines in which 10 of them are over 25 years old.