Government sources say the project will take around 12 years to complete. The ultimate cost may increase depending on the weapons systems included inside the stealth submarines. The project aims to greatly enhance India’s naval strength in the face of the fast growth of China’s maritime capabilities.
The decision to accept the ‘P-75 India’ project was made at a Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. It will be up to shipbuilder Larsen & Toubro and state-owned Mazagaon Docks Ltd. to decide which foreign business they want to work with on the project. The RFP will be sent to the shipyards that have already been shortlisted.
According to the sources, the RFP will be released within a month, and the contract will be granted after a thorough examination of the L&T and MDL responses. The Indian Ocean, regarded as the Indian Navy’s backyard, is vital to the country’s strategic interests. The concept envisions long-term strategic alliances with Indian defence majors through a transparent and competitive procedure in which they would collaborate with global original equipment manufacturers.
At first, strategic partners will be chosen in four categories: fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines, and armoured fighting vehicles/main battle tanks. Within the next 8-10 years, the total number of ships and submarines is expected to exceed 500 in the Indian Ocean. The Chinese navy presently possesses about 50 submarines and over 350 ships, according to worldwide naval observers.
According to the defence minister, by 2024, India would no longer import 101 weapons and military platforms, including transport planes, light combat helicopters, conventional submarines, cruise missiles, and sonar equipment.
This week, a second negative list was announced, restricting the import of 108 military weapons and equipment, including next-generation corvettes, airborne early warning systems, tank engines, and radars.
In May of this year, the government stated that the automatic route FDI maximum in the defence industry will be increased from 49% to 74%. India is one of the world’s top weaponry importers. The government has resolved to boost indigenous defence manufacture to lessen reliance on foreign military platforms.