India builds 6 more advanced submarines, citing China threat

The Indian Ministry of Defense approved a Rs. 430 billion project to build six advanced submarines, the first of its kind to be built in India through a strategic partnership model to strengthen the Indian Navy’s ability to respond to the Chinese military. The Indian navy built the ship foreign cooperation, including France, Germany, Spain, Russia and South Korea.

The Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) on the 4th approved the construction of six advanced submarines under the “India P75” project for 430 billion rupees. The Indian Defense Ministry issued a statement saying that this is a landmark approval because it is the first military equipment construction case handled under the strategic partnership model.

According to a Central News Agency (CNA) report today, India, in an effort to absorb foreign military technology and produce it indigenously, has introduced the so-called strategic partnership model to be the main defense platform for indigenous manufacturing by India’s strategic partners (foreign countries) and for foreign original equipment manufacturers to establish production facilities in India with Indian partners. The Indian Ministry of Defense statement noted that this will be one of the largest “Make in India” (Make in India) projects, which will help faster and more important access to technology and create a tiered industrial system for the manufacture of Indian submarines. From a strategic perspective, this will help India reduce its current dependence on imports and gradually ensure better self-reliance.

The Defense Acquisition Council, headed by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, yesterday approved the construction of six submarines under the P-75 India program, and the Indian Navy is expected to send a Request for Proposal (RFP) soon. Under the P-75 program, India contracted with France in 2005 to procure six Scorpene class submarines, which France will assist India in building on its own, at a total cost of $3.75 billion. The first Kalvari was commissioned in December 2017 and the last one is expected to be commissioned next year.

The six new submarines, which are also part of a 30-year submarine construction program approved by the Indian Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999, will use an adiabatic propulsion system (AIP) that will allow the submarines to stay underwater for longer periods of time. According to the Indian Ministry of Defense, with the approval of the P75 project, it symbolizes another step forward in India’s 30-year submarine construction program.

The Indian Navy plans to build an underwater force of 18 conventionally powered submarines and six nuclear-powered submarines, the report said, adding that the Indian government approved the construction of six nuclear-powered submarines in 2015, adjusting the 30-year submarine construction program.

According to the report, the Indian Ministry of Defense has approved in January 2020 two Indian companies, including state-run Mazagon Dock and L&T, as well as French Naval Group, Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, and the Russian Rubin Design Bureau. Rubin Design Bureau (Russia), Navantia (Spain) and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (Korea) are among the foreign shipbuilders participating in the P75 program.