Engineering behemoth Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a teaming agreement with Spanish building company Navantia to bid for the Navy’s P75 (India) submarine project. It will submit a techno-commercial bid for it. Indian Navy is looking to procure six advanced diesel-electric submarines under Project 75 (I) to offset its dwindling submarine fleet. It has 16 conventional submarines, 11 more than two decades old, and two indigenous nuclear-powered submarines.
Project 75 (I) requires the Indian bidder to tie up with a foreign collaborator and execute the programme to deliver six conventional submarines equipped with Air-Independent Propulsion (IAP) while achieving targeted Indigenous Content. The Submarines will be built under the Strategic Partnership (SP) model, which allows domestic manufacturers to join hands with foreign defence majors to produce high-end military platforms to reduce import dependence.
According to the statement, the project is expected to be valued at over Euro 4.8 billion ($ 5.26 billion) and is India’s largest defence acquisition project. A 30-year lifecycle sustenance contract of similar value would also follow this. P75(I) would be the first program to be processed under the ambitious Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the acquisition of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). L&T and Navantia signed an MoU for the program on 11 April 2023 at Madrid, which has now culminated in this TA.
The companies said L&T would build the submarines. At the same time, Navantia would design them based on the Spanish state-owned shipbuilder’s S80 class of submarines and provide the air-independent propulsion system that lets submarines remain underwater longer.
“Navantia’s glorious 300-year-old track record in naval construction and technical expertise gives us a competitive advantage in this program and offers the Bio-Ethanol Stealth Technology (BEST) and environmentally Green AIP solution. We are committed to providing the most contemporary solution for Indian Navy’s requirements at a competitive price,” said S N Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, L&T,
As per the agreement, Navantia would design P75 (I) submarines based on its S80 class of submarines, the first of which was launched in 2021 and is undergoing sea trials before its delivery to the Spanish Navy at the end of 2023.
“It gives us great joy to be in a position to be the design and technology partner for P75(I). We are also in collaboration with L&T for the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) program, whose tender is eagerly awaited,” informed Member Board of Navantia, Augustine Alvarez Blanco, Vice President, Naval Construction.
Apart from the S80 class, Navantia has been involved in designing and constructing the Scorpéne class of submarines together with DCNS (Now Naval Group) of France, which have been exported to Chile and Malaysia. Navantia has also been involved in the Scorpene submarines (Kalvari class) built in India, including handholding of the Indian yard.
L&T and Navantia also seek cooperation in other military programmes and green energy opportunities, including offshore wind through the Navantia Seanergies division.
L&T has built over 65 defence vessels- both in partnership and on its own- including a handful for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. Last month, public sector shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) signed an agreement to be able to bid for producing the advanced submarines under Project 75 (I).