Amid the falling number of conventional diesel electric submarines in its fleet, Indian Navy is facing another delay in the much awaited Project 75I SSK project for 6 more submarines.
This project has been given an extention of another 09 months this time. This is the 3rd extension given to this tender. The 1st extended the response deadline to April 2022. The 2nd extension was for 6 months. And the 3rd extension for another nine months has been given just a couple of days back.
The new deadline to submit their responses is August 2023. 5 foreign OEMs were approached for Technology Transfer, but 3 have already backed out including France, Russia and Sweden.
Only Germany and South Korea remain in the competition. But Germany is hinting its reservations on ToT and other Indian demands and can also pull out, leaving the competition a single bidder event.
MoD and IN had given several relaxations to ease the concerns of the OEMs. But the demand of a proven in service AIP system is turning out to be a sore point. France has a working next generation AIP technology, more advanced than DRDO AIP, but France has an all Nuclear Powered submarine fleet, meaning it doesn’t have an operational AIP.
The Indian Navy is left with just 15 SSKs today while Pakistan has 8 new SSKs under construction and Bangaladesh is looking to acquire more Chinese SSKs. Chinese SSNs are also becoming more regular in IOR.