Antony reviews delays in submarine project

With depleting fleet of under-water vessels, Defence Minister AK Antony reviewed reasons for delay in tender for Rs 50,000 crore `Project 75 India` to procure 6 diesel electric submarines for Navy.

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of depleting fleet of under-water vessels, Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday reviewed the reasons for delay in issuing tender for the over Rs 50,000 crore `Project 75 India` in which six more diesel electric submarines have to be procured for the Navy.
The P-75 India is a Navy project expected to begin after the ongoing project under which six Scorpene submarines are being built by the Mazagon Dockyards Limited in collaboration with French DCNS. The Scorpene project is also delayed by over three years.

"The Defence Minister reviewed the reasons for delays in the P-75 India project and asked the authorities concerned to hasten the progress," Ministry officials said here.

Under the project, the Navy has plans of getting two submarines constructed at the shipyard of the foreign vendor bagging the contract while the remain four would be built at defence shipyards including MDL and the Hindustan Shipyard Limited.

The Navy had issued the Request for Information (RFI) for the project over a couple of years ago and due to several reasons, the project has been getting delayed since then.

Defence Ministry will move the Cabinet Committee on Security soon for seeking approvals for the construction of two submarines at foreign shipyards as the previous approval was for indigenous construction.

India currently operates a fleet of Russian Kilo Class and German HDW submarines, of which a significant number would be phased out in the coming decade or so.

India has been working on a 30-year submarine plan under which 24 submarines are to be constructed till 2030 but with the delays, it seems that achieving these numbers would be a difficult task.