2 minute readIndian submarine contest down to four

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Soryu-class submarine | Photo: JMSDF

The contest to supply the Indian Navy with its next batch of submarines has already lost two contenders, even before the competition has begun.

The navy’s Request For Information (RFI) had been issued to six manufacturers: Spain’s Navantia, the French Naval Group (formerly DCNS), Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), Sweden’s Saab Kockums, Russia’s Rubin and the Japanese consortium of Mitsubishi/Kawasaki.

As reported by StratPost, the deadline for responses to the RFI was extended to Monday, October 16.

It has emerged that two of the recipients of the RFI have not submitted responses. Mitsubishi/Kawasaki of Japan and Navantia of Spain have failed to submit the requested information for their Soryu and S-80 submarines to the Indian Navy.

The absence of a Japanese response is perhaps not entirely surprising, considering their institutional reluctance to commit to a process in a system with which they are unfamiliar, their wait for the culmination of a long-pending Indian order for ShinMaywa US-2i amphibious aircraft and their recent experience competing for an Australian order for submarines.

Navantia’s lack of participation is more unexpected, considering the S-80 is modeled on the French Scorpene, which are coming into service in the Indian Navy. The Spanish company has also been involved in a contest to supply LHD vessels to the Indian Navy.

At any rate, the absence of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who are not fully committed to the process will probably assist the navy in running a serious contest to build the Project 75(India) line of submarines, especially considering this project has to meet the exacting requirements of strategic partnerships under Chapter 07 of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

The Naval Group is offering the Scorpene; TKMS is offering the Type 214; Saab Kockums is offering the A26 and Rubin is offering the Amur submarine. The order is estimated to be worth around USD 10 billion.

So what do you think?