The Indian Navy (IN) has issued the Request for Information (RFI) to six foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the context of the € 8.3billion submarine project, Project 75(I), which will scale-up the IN’s warfare capabilities.
“The IN has issued an RFI asking competent companies that have independently designed and constructed a modern submarine, which is either currently in service or is undergoing sea trials,” confirmed officials who got the RFI, adding that, “the L1 for P-75(I) will most likely be announced only at the end of next year.”
The IN has issued the RFI to Russian submarine manufacturer Rosoboronexport Rubin Design Bureau, French Naval Group (formerly DCNS), Germany’s thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Spain’s Navantia and Swedish Saab. More surprising was the decision from Japan’s leading shipbuilders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) to enter the competition. According to sources they have been, “strongly promoting their technological prowess to win contracts to build India’s next generation of submarines.”
Sources added that while the Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) is the most important parameter in the RFI, details were also sought on the means to increase the submarines,’ “endurance and stealth capability, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capability, and land attack capability.”
More specifically, the OEMs were requested to submit data on the proposed design for torpedo tubes, sources said, which could launch heavy-weight torpedoes, missiles and discharge other weapons. They were also asked to elaborate on transfer of technology in relation to the design and construction of the six new submarines, as well as detail their plans for the discharge of offset commitments.
“The manufacture of six next-generation stealth submarines has moved to the crucial next stage with this RFI,” said an official seeking anonymity. “Qualified OEMs, which are the technology provider, will be issued an expression of interest (EoI) much later by the Indian Navy. This (foreign OEMs) is patented under India’s newly-announced Strategic Partnership Model in the Defence Procurement Procedure 2016,” the official concluded.
Dr. Alix Valenti