PROJECT 75

  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the issuance of a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the construction of six conventional submarines under Project-75I (India).
  • RFP is a project announcement posted publicly by an organization indicating that bids for contractors to complete the project are sought.

Important points:

  • This project envisages indigenous construction of submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system at an estimated cost of Rs. 43,000 crore.
  • Project 75 (I), approved in 2007, is part of the Indian Navy’s 30 year Plan for indigenous submarine construction.
  • It will be the first under the strategic partnership model which was promulgated in 2017 to boost indigenous defence manufacturing.
  • The strategic partnership model allows domestic defence manufacturers to join hands with leading foreign defence majors to produce high-end military platforms to reduce import dependence.
  • Acquisitions under the Strategic Partnership model refer to participation of private Indian firms along with foreign OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) in ‘Make in India’ in defence.

Significance:       

  • It will serve to facilitate faster and more significant absorption of technology and create a tiered industrial ecosystem for submarine construction in India.
  • From a strategic perspective, this will help reduce current dependence on imports and gradually ensure greater self-reliance and dependability of supplies from indigenous sources.
  • This is keeping in mind the rapid increase of nuclear submarine arsenal by People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) (CHINA) and to protect the Indo-Pacific from future domination by the adversary.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Security, in June 1999, had approved a 30-year submarine-building plan which included construction of 24 conventional submarines indigenously by 2030.
  • P75I succeeded the P75 under which six diesel-electric attack submarines of the Kalvari class, based on the Scorpene class, were being built at MDL (Mazagon Dock Limited) – the third submarine, INS Karanj, was commissioned in March 2021.
  • Of the total 24 submarines to be built in India, six will be nuclear-powered.
  • India has only one nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, at the moment. The INS Arighat, also a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, is to be commissioned soon.
  • INS Chakra, a nuclear submarine, which is taken on lease from Russia, is believed to be on its way back to the country of origin.
  • Defence Acquisition Council
  • DAC is the highest decision-making body in the Defence Ministry for deciding on new policies and capital acquisitions for the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) and the Indian Coast Guard
  • The Minister of Defence is the Chairman of the Council.
  • It was formed, after the Group of Ministers recommendations on ‘Reforming the National Security System’, in 2001, post Kargil War (1999).

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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