India to buy submarines amid China naval activity in the Indian Ocean

Indian Navy’s Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari escorted by tugs as
it arrives at Mazagon Docks, a naval-vessel ship-building yard,
in Mumbai, October 29, 2015.

Reuters/Shailesh Andrade

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
Defense News.

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.

stand in front of the Indian navy’s first Scorpene submarine
before being undocked from Mazagon Docks, a naval-vessel
ship-building yard, in Mumbai, April 6, 2015.

REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File

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…

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