Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Defence min clears deal for six submarines

- Press Trust of India


NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry on Friday cleared a mega project to domestical­ly build six convention­al submarines for the Indian Navy at a cost of around ₹43,000 crore, in a major decision aimed at significan­tly boosting India’s naval prowess in the face of China rapidly expanding its maritime capabiliti­es.

The submarines will be built under the much-talked-about strategic partnershi­p model that allows domestic defence manufactur­ers to join hands with leading foreign defence majors to produce high-end military platforms to reduce import dependence. The Defence Ministry also approved proposals relating to capital acquisitio­ns of various military weapons and equipment worth around ₹6,800 crore, according to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s office.

The decisions to approve the naval submarine project named ‘P-75 India’ and the procuremen­t of the military weapons and equipment were taken at a meeting of the Defence Acquisitio­n Council (DAC) chaired by Singh. The DAC is the Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on procuremen­t.

In another important decision, the DAC also extended the timelines for procuring urgent capital acquisitio­ns under the delegated powers to the armed forces up to August 31, 2021, to enable them to complete their emergency procuremen­ts.

“This project envisages indigenous constructi­on of six convention­al submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art air-independen­t propulsion system at an estimated cost of ₹43,000 crore,” the ministry said about the naval project.“this is a landmark approval, being the first case processed under the strategic partnershi­p model. This would be one of the largest ‘Make in India’ projects and will serve to facilitate faster and more significan­t absorption of technology and create a tiered industrial ecosystem for submarine constructi­on in India,” it said.

The ministry said the project will help reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance and dependabil­ity of supplies from indigenous sources.

“With accord of this approval, the country will be enabled to achieve its 30-year submarine constructi­on programme envisioned by the government to acquire national competence in submarine constructi­on and for the Indian industry to independen­tly design and construct submarines in India,” it said.

Under the strategic partnershi­p model, domestic defence manufactur­ers are allowed to join hands with leading foreign defence majors to produce highend military platforms to reduce import dependence.

Officials in the knowing of things said the project will be implemente­d in a period of around 12 years and the final cost may go up depending on the weapons systems to be incorporat­ed into the stealth submarines.

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