Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)



NEW DELHI: The Union defence ministry on Friday cleared a project worth ₹43,000 crore for building six advanced submarines in the country under the government’s “strategic partnershi­p” (SP) model to bolster the Indian Navy’s underwater force levels, and counter the rapid expansion of China’s submarine fleet, defence ministry officials said.

The defence acquisitio­n council (DAC), India’s apex procuremen­t body, approved the proposal at a meeting on Friday, and the navy is soon expected to issue requests for proposal (RFP) for the programme, called P-75 India, the officials said.

This will be the first RFP to be issued under the SP model, which seeks to provide a fillip to the government’s Make in India programme, said one of the officials cited above. The model envisages indigenous manufactur­ing of major defence platforms by an Indian strategic partner who will collaborat­e with a foreign original equipment manufactur­er (OEM) to set up production facilities in the country.

The new submarines will be equipped with air independen­t propulsion (AIP) systems that will enable the vessels to stay underwater for longer periods and enhance their combat capabiliti­es, said a second official.

In January 2020, the defence ministry cleared two Indian and five foreign shipbuilde­rs to take part in the project to build hightech submarines.

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