India has contacted six foreign shipyards with a formal request
for information about building six nonnuclear submarines.
The request comes as part of Project 75I, a program worth over
$12 billion, according to
New Delhi asked shipyards in Russia, France, Japan, and Germany,
among others, for information about six submarines equipped with
air-independent-propulsion systems, which allow nonnuclear subs
to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen, replacing or
augmenting diesel-electric systems.
New Delhi is seeking “a proven, effective, state-of-the-art,
electric heavyweight torpedo; a land attack missile, and perhaps
even an underwater-to-air missile against enemy helicopters and
mines,” Anil Jai Singh, a retired Indian navy commodore and
defense analyst, told Defense News.
Once a response is received from interested shipyards, India will
issue a formal request for proposal, then put three or four
of the shipyards on a shortlist.
It will be a multiyear process, in part because of New Delhi’s
Strategic Partner policy, under which a foreign shipyard will be
paired with a domestic one in order to compete for the contract.
One contractor told Defense News
that the strategic-partner selection should be done by 2019.
Another analyst and retired Indian navy officer said it could be
“a good seven to eight years after a deal is signed” before the
first sub build under the P75I program…