Printed headline: India Wants Six Submarines
The Indian navy plans to procure six diesel-electric submarines with air-independent propulsion in a deal worth $11 billion—the country’s largest defense program yet. Two boats will be built at the contractor’s shipyard and four at Indian shipyards. A request for information (RFI) has been released for submarines displacing 7,000-8,000 tons, which would make them the largest non-nuclear boats ever and almost twice the size of conventional subs in service anywhere. India’s Scorpene-class submarines, six of which are under construction, displace 1,700 tons. Companies expected to respond to the RFI for the program—called 75(l)—include Rosoboronexport of Russia, DCNS of France, HDW of Germany and Navantia of Spain. Preference will be given to companies that have designed and built submarines that are in service or undergoing sea trials. The boats will have stealth features and land-attack capabilities, be designed for technology upgrades and be equipped with vertical-launch cruise missiles among other armaments; no mention has been made of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile. India has 17 submarines.