Navy to issue Rs 50,000 crore submarine tender this year

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) The Navy will issue a globaltender for procuring six next generation submarines worth overRs 50,000 crore by the end of this year.

"The government has cleared Project-75 India which isthe next lot of six submarines... At the moment we are goingwith the Request for Information (RFI) process, I hope withinthis year we would be able to push off the tender," Navy chiefAdmiral Nirmal Verma told reporters on the sidelines of asubmarine seminar.

Project-75 India is a follow on of the Scorpenesubmarine project, six of which are being built by the MazgaonDockyards Limited (MDL) under a Rs 20,000 crore deal withFrench company DCNS.

With a depleted submarine strength, the Navy isplanning to induct over 12 submarines in the next 10-12 years.

The plans have also suffered a setback in view of the delaysin the construction of the Scorpenes in Mumbai.

Talking about the capabilities of future submarines,the Navy chief said, "It will be a different boat in the sensethat we are revising its Qualitative Requirements. Along withbetter sensors it will also have better hiding capability,improved detection range and combat management system."

He said the navy would go for the Air IndependentPropulsion (AIP) systems for the submarines, which wouldenhance their capability of remaining submerged in water for alonger time period.

On the weapon systems to be put on the next line ofunder water vessels, Verma said Navy was planning to use a mixof indigenous torpedoes along with the missiles which arebeing deployed on the Scorpene submarines.

To a question on safety of Indian fishermen beingtargeted by the Sri Lankan navy, he said, "The issue washighlighted during the visit of the Sri Lankan President also.

The joint working group on fisheries is supposed to addressthese issues and that is the way to resolve it."

He denied knowledge of any apprehensions expressed byChina on India''s forthcoming exercises with the navies of theUS and Japan. "You have to bear in mind that it is not thefirst time these exercises are happening. I am not aware ofany such apprehension," he said.

On the annual exercise TROPEX, the Admiral said thatbesides elements from army and air force, the navy would alsoinclude its amphibious elements for the first time in theexercise.

"TROPEX in terms of involved expenses and platforms isthe largest exercise we have. This time we have hugeamphibious elements including the participation from army andthe air force," he said.

Indian Navy inducted its first amphibious warship INSJalashwa from US in 2007.

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