Thursday, September 9, 2010

India Releases RFI For $11B Submarine Buy

NEW DELHI — The Indian navy has issued a request for information (RFI) for procurement of six conventional submarines under its Project 75 (I) program. The estimated value of the eventual contract is $11 billion.

Submissions are due by Sept 30. Companies expected to respond include Rosoboronexport (Amur shipyard),France’s DCNS, Germany’s HDW and Spain’s Navantia.

The Indian navy says it is in the process of identifying a contemporary conventional submarine with two diesel-electric engines to be built at the vendor’s shipyard and four more at Indian shipyards. The RFI states it will look at companies
that have independently designed and constructed modern subs currently in service or undergoing sea trials.

“The submarine should be capable of operating in open and littoral/shallow waters in dense antisurface and antisubmarine warfare and [electronic warfare] environments,” the RFI says.

The Scorpene — six of which India has ordered and are under construction — is 1,700 tons and carries 18 torpedoes and/or missiles.

The submarines India is looking at will be 7,000-8,000 tons, according to a navy official.

“The Western world doesn’t have this [size] of conventional boat and it is likely the Russians will qualify,” an aerospace and defense analyst says.“However, having suffered in the past, India is wary of doing business with the Russians.”

India’s fleet includes 10 Russian Kilo-class, four German HDW and two aging Foxtrot diesel-engine submarines. It does not have any submarine design experience for a 7,000-ton boat.

By 2012, five of India’s 16 submarines will be retired.
The RFI asks for the scope and depth of the technology
transfer the original equipment manufacturers can offer for
design and construction at Indian shipyards, as well as equipment
to be sourced from Indian industry for offsets and plans
for training of Indian personnel in submarine design.
- Neelam Mathews

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