New Delhi, Apr 29
By Rohit Srivastava
In another setback to the India's next line of six diesel submarine under Project 75I, one of the main contender for tender, the French Naval Group has backed out of it, company has confirmed.
Confirming the withdrawal, Company publicist has informed that the company will provide the statement tomorrow.
As part of the 30 years submarine plan, India is to have two lines of conventional submarine. The first line under the Project 75 for six conventional submarine from western nation. The contract was won by Naval Group is nearing completion with the launch of the sixth and last of the Kalvari (Scorpene) class submarine Vagsheer, on April 20.
In 2017, India decided to execute the P75I under the Strategic Partnership Model.
In 2019, Expression of Interest (EoI) was sent out to six submarine maker for a diesel electric submarine with land attack capability and air independent propulsion(AIP). Government selected two of the India's leading shipyard, Mazagon Dock and L&T as the Indian partners for the foreign vendors.
In February, Russia withdrew from the tender and offered its upgraded Kilo Class as compensation. German shipyard TKMS pulled out in 2021. Swedish Saab withdrew earlier.
This leaves Daewoo, South Korea and Spanish Navantia as the only two contenders for the tender.
French Naval Group was considered as the strong contender since it has already executed Kalavari-class in association with Mazagon Dock, one of the strategic partner for the programme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting France as part of his three nation visit from May 2-4. Modi will arrive in Paris on May 4 and hold talks with French President Emmanuel Macron who was reelected as the president on Monday.
Defence cooperation between the two nation is expected to be at the centre of the talks.
Statement from Naval Group (April 30)
"Naval Group has always been ready to offer the best in class and adapted solution for Indian Navy's P75(I) project, being fully in line with AatmaNirbhar Bharat principle. However the present RFP requires that the fuel cell AIP be sea proven, which is not the case because French Navy does not use such propulsion system. Nevertheless, we look forward for closer association with India.
Our focus and efforts are towards continuation of our collaboration with Indian industry in realising the vision of Government of India by supporting Indian Navy for other future developments and projects (maintenance, high tech tools, indigenous AIP, incremental improvements in Scorpene designed submarine, HWT, larger ships etc)".
Laurent Videau, Country and Managing Director, Naval Group India.