The Indian Navy has initiated the acquisition procedure to procure six submarines on Thursday under the ambitious 'Project-75 India' at an estimated outlay of Rs.50,000 crore. The submarines are to be capable of being equipped with 500km strike range cruise missiles.
Initiating the tender process, the Indian Navy has issued the initial Expression of Interest to foreign vendors willing to participate in the mega-project.
"The draft EOI has been issued to the foreign vendors who would be taking part in the competition along with the probable Indian partners who have also been invited to give suggestions on the strategic partnership policy under which the boats would be built," said a source at the Navy to ANI.
Under the Project-75 India project, the Navy wants the submarines to be equipped with heavy-duty firepower, having 12 Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) along with Anti-Ship cruise missiles (ASCM). The Navy has also specified that the submarines should have the capacity to carry and launch 18 heavyweight torpedoes in the sea.
The Navy which currently has more than 100 submarines and surface warships, wants to have a mix of conventional and nuclear submarines in its fleet to manage its area of responsibility stretching from the Malacca Straits to the Indian Ocean Region.
While the Pakistan Navy only has 20 submarines, the Indian Navy is looking to build its assets to consolidate its supremacy in the Indian Ocean region where the Chinese Navy also operates.
Recently, on March 8, India had sealed a USD 3 billion deal with Russia for the leasing of a nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years. Under the pact, Russia will have to deliver the Akula class submarine, to be known as Chakra III, to the Indian Navy by 2025 which will be the third Russian submarine to be leased to the Indian Navy.
The deal for the Chakra III came days after Indo-Russian joint production facility to manufacture AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Army was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
(With ANI inputs)