Thyssenkrupp Marine, Mazagon Dock sign submarine MoU

Germany based Thyssenkrupp Marine and India’s DPSU Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to participate in the Project 75 (India) submarine tender of the Indian Navy.

The MoU was signed in Mumbai in the presence of German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius.

As part of the framework agreement signed, Thyssenkrupp would take care of engineering and design, while MDL would oversee construction and the delivery of six submarines the Indian Navy has tendered.

Worth mentioning, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is likely to finalise the winner of the contract by the end of this year or early next year.

Notable, Germany operates HDW Class Dolphin submarines which is equipped with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, is most likely to offer the same to India. The AIP is marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen. This offer is quite significant given the fact Germany previously had sought clarification on the joint manufacturing of submarine from India.

Earlier in July 2017, the MoD had issued a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) for Project 75 (India)-class submarines, or P-75I worth Rs 45,000 Crore (US $5.4 billion) under the “Strategic Partnership” model.

The program involves acquisition of six conventional, diesel-electric attack submarines for the Indian Navy, which will also feature advanced capabilities – including Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP), ISR, Special Operations Forces (SOF), Anti-Ship Warfare (AShW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), land-attack capabilities and other features.

All six submarines are expected to be constructed in India, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Reportedly, the response deadline of the RFP, which was initially scheduled for November 2021, was postponed to June 2022, and later again, to December 2022 and the latest being up to August 2023.

Besides Germany, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (South Korea), Naval Group (France), Navantia (Spain), Rosoboronexport (Russia) and Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS, Germany) are other contenders vying for the contract.

Also, In January 2020, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) shortlisted Mazgaon Docks Ltd. (MDL) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) as the Indian partners for the P-75 deal, the first to be processed under the strategic partnership model of the procurement procedure.

The Indian Navy has 16 conventional submarines in service, comprising of seven Russian Kilo-class submarines, four German-origin HDW submarines and five Scorpene-class submarines under Project 75 and two nuclear  The last and sixth Scorpene is expected to join service early next year. 

The Indian Navy currently operates 14 diesel electric submarine and 2 nuclear powered ones. But most of the fleet is three decades old.

The IN needs at least 24 submarines to meet its 30-year submarine-building plan, which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security in 1999.

To know all about the current Indian Submarine Fleet read please read our previously issued Update on Indian Submarines – “Know All About Indian Navy’s Submarines” –