August 9, 2013

RFP for $11.8-billion Indian Navy submarine project soon

The request for proposals (RFPs) for the $11.8-bn Project 75-I submarines of the Indian Navy is expected to be issued shortly. Senior officials in the ministry of defence (MoD) told FE, ‘‘By mid-September-October, the delayed RFP will be issued. The Defence Acquisition Committee had already cleared the proposal; however, it was not issued as some more changes were made to the initial document.’’
‘‘Two submarines would be acquired from a selected foreign shipyard and the remaining four would be built by the state-owned Mazagon Dock and Hindustan Shipyard. Apart from plans to allow private local shipbuilders to participate in this project, the BrahMos’ naval version is expected to be added on to these submarines.’’ The BrahMos missile is fully ready for fitment in the Project 75-I(India) submarines of the Indian Navy in vertical launch configuration, which will make the platform (submarine) one of the most powerful weapon platforms in the world,” said BrahMos CMD and CEO A Sivathanu Pillai, after the underwater Brahmos Launch.
Foreign companies, including Rosoboronexport’s Amur 1650 (Russia), DCNS's Scorpene (France), HDW Type 214 (Germany) and Navantia's S-80 (Spain) were the possible candidates for the P75-I $11.8-billion project. However, officials said the Spanish company has withdrawn its technical specifications due to weight issues with their submarine.
With dismal underwater combat capability due to the tardy rate of acquisition of submarines, the Indian Navy plans to oversee and fast-track all its submarine acquisition plans to match its fleet with that of its neighbouring countries.
The primary focus of the Indian Navy is the Project-75 India (P-75i) programme, wherein the acquisition of six new stealth submarines, equipped with both tube-launched missiles for land-attack capabilities as well as AIP (air-independent propulsion) for enhanced underwater capability, is envisaged. The plan is to directly import two submarines from the foreign collaborator eventually selected, with the next three being built at MDL in Mumbai, and the sixth at Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam under transfer of technology.
While the Indian Navy has been anxious to get the P-75i project rolling, the earlier programme — Project-75, which involves construction of six Scorpene submarines at the state-owned Mazagon Docks, in collaboration with DCNS of France — has been delayed until 2015. India has almost all major components of P 75i ready indigenously. Larsen & Toubro’s UG NX5 & PLM Software Team Centre has the capability for design and development of structural and engineering parts. With design inputs from DRDO and Indian Navy’s design outfit, L&T’s Submarine Design Centre created detailed engineering for nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, using the latest 3D modeling and product data management software. L&T- built launchers have been used for firing both underwater Brahmos Missile and nuclear-capable 750-km K-15/B-05 missiles. The company also devised the firing circuit for BrahMos on the lines of Harpoon missile.


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