The Indian Navy will soon invite tenders for building six conventional submarines after a high-level committee of the Defence Ministry submitted its report identifying shipyards capable of executing the about Rs 60,000 crore project.
“The Committee has visited all the shipyards in the country and has submitted its report recently. It is under consideration of the Defence Ministry,” defence sources said.
Though they remained tightlipped about the name of shipyards that have been shortlisted, the sources said a Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued soon once the report has been studied in detail.
Besides the state-run shipyards, private players like Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company, in which Anil Ambani-led ADAG has announced its decision to pick up a controlling stake, are eyeing the mega deal.
MDL is already making six Scorpene submarines. Asked if MDL would be the natural winner, sources said, the eco-system has to be developed and hinted that the order may go to a particular shipyard which could then outsource a part of the project to others.
India had in October decided to build six submarines at a cost of about Rs 60,000 crore under Project 75-India, rather than source it from outside.
The government has set up an eight-member committee to study both public and private shipyards.
The ministry will issue Request for Proposal (RFP) to specific ports that have been identified on the basis of the study which looked into whether they have the capacity and manpower to build the six submarines in the same port besides other parameters.
The submarines will be Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) capable that will enable them to stay under water longer than a conventional submarine, besides having enhanced stealth features.
The Navy currently has 13 operational submarines and the target set in 1999 was to have 24 by 2030. The previous UPA government had gone in for six Scorpene submarines and the first of the batch is likely to be delivered in September 2016.