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  • Writer's pictureAman Sri

India's next-gen submarines to have high indigenous content!

India's maritime aspirations are poised to take a significant leap forward through a strategic initiative by the Indian Navy. This initiative focuses on the construction of the next generation of stealth conventional submarines, aligning closely with the government's 'Make in India' campaign to boost indigenous manufacturing capabilities.

This ambitious project entails the creation of six advanced stealth submarines, with an estimated budget of $5.8 billion (Rs 42,000 crore). A central aspect of this endeavor is to emphasize a robust 'make in India' approach, with a goal of localizing a substantial portion, ranging from 55 to 60 percent, of the submarine's components and technologies.

This localization target is influenced by the ongoing construction of six 'Scorpene-class' submarines at the Mazagon Docks Limited, a state-owned shipyard, in collaboration with France's Naval Group. These initial Scorpene submarines exhibit a local content of 30-40 percent.

For this forthcoming project, Naval Group has committed to an even more impressive 60 percent indigenous content, which encompasses advanced technologies such as combat systems and air-independent propulsion (AIP). The AIP technology is particularly significant as it enables conventional submarines to operate underwater for extended periods, representing a significant technological advancement. India's ambition is to develop the expertise to manufacture such sophisticated vessels.

The competitive bidding process for the project has garnered the participation of two Indian companies in partnership with foreign technology experts. Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited (MDL), along with Germany's Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), and private firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T), in collaboration with Spain's Navantia, have submitted their bids.

The chosen Indian partner will receive technology transfers, including AIP, from their foreign collaborator, which will be integrated into their technological framework. MDL, in collaboration with TKMS, intends to design, construct, and deliver the submarines as part of the project. On the other hand, L&T's partnership with Navantia is geared towards designing the submarines based on Navantia's S80 class, with L&T overseeing construction and delivery. This collaborative effort signifies a critical step forward in India's journey towards enhancing its maritime capabilities.

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