Indian Navy kickstarts process to acquire six ‘lethal’ submarines at 50,000 crore

Indian Navy kickstarts process to acquire six 'lethal' submarines at 50,000 crore
The Navy is vying for submarines equipped with at least 12 Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) along with Anti-Ship cruise missiles (ASCM) and the capability to launch 18 heavyweight torpedoes in the sea (Representational Image)

In what could provide a major boost to the naval branch of the Indian Armed Forces, the Indian Navy has started the process to acquire six lethal submarines at an estimated cost of Rs 50,000 crore under the ambitious ‘Project-75’.

According to reports, the Navy has initiated the tender process by issuing the initial Expression of Interest to foreign vendors willing to take part.

Under Project 75-India (75I), the Navy aims to build six conventional diesel-electric submarines which would be almost 50 percent bigger than the under-construction Scorpene class submarines being built at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited in Mumbai.

“The draft EOI has been issued to the foreign vendors who would be taking part in the competition along with the probable Indian partners who have also been invited to give suggestions on the strategic partnership policy under which the boats would be built,” ANI quoted Navy sources as saying.

While the Scorpene boasts of heavyweight torpedoes and the Exocet surface to surface missiles as their main weapons, the next line of submarines requires better-attacking capability.

The Navy is, therefore, vying for submarines equipped with heavy-duty firepower, including at least 12 Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) along with Anti-Ship cruise missiles (ASCM). It should also be able to carry and launch 18 heavyweight torpedoes in the sea.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has put a Navy officer as the in-charge of the project after clearing the procurement of these submarines in the Defence Acquisition Council.

The Navy wants to have a mix of conventional and nuclear submarines in its fleet to manage its area of responsibility stretching from the Malacca Straits to the Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Navy has more than 100 submarines and surface warships, while it’s Pakistani counterpart has around 20. However, the navy is building assets for tackling the Chinese Navy which operates occasionally in the Indian Ocean region.

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