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April 17, 2015

Def Committee Report on shipyards for P75-I Project this month


The high-level committee of the Defence Ministry, which will identify shipyards capable of building country's next six conventional submarines under a Rs 50,000-crore scheme, will submit its report by this month end.

Besides the state-run shipyards, private players like Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company, in which Anil Ambani-led Reliance has announced to pick up a controlling stake, is eyeing the mega deal.

The Committee has visited all the shipyards in the country and will submit its report by April end, Vice Admiral A V Subhedar said.

The senior Naval officer, who heads the Committee having seven members, besides him, though remained tight-lipped about the findings.

Defence sources, however, said both the and Pipavav is likely to make the cut besides the state-run Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).

MDL is already making six Scorpene submarines. Asked if MDL would be the natural winner, sources said, the eco-system has to be developed and hinted that the order could go to a particular shipyard which could then outsource a part of project to others.

India had in October decided to build six submarines at a cost of about Rs 50,000 crore under Project 75-India, rather than source it from outside.

The government has set-up an eight-member committee to study both public and private shipyards.

The ministry will issue Request for Proposal (RFP) to specific ports that will be identified on the basis of the study which will look into whether they have the capacity and manpower to build the six submarines in the same port only besides other parameters.

The submarines will be Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable that will enable them to stay underwater for longer than a conventional submarine, besides, having enhanced stealth features.

The Navy currently has 13 operational submarines and the target set in 1999 was to have 24 by 2030. The previous UPA government had gone in for six Scorpene submarines and the first is likely to be delivered only in September 2016.

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