NEW DELHI — Only private shipyards will receive a tender to make six air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines if the Defence Ministry follows the recommendations of an expert committee, an MoD source said.
The US $12 billion tender will be sent to private yards Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering and Larsen & Toubro, the source said.
The Navy committee, headed by Vice Adm. A.V. Subhedar, controller of warship production and acquisition, also assessed state-owned Hindustan Shipyard and Mazagon Docks. He made his remarks during his first presentation to the MoD this month.
While the committee is expected to give its final recommendations to the MoD next month, the observations made by members during their presentation cannot be easily ignored by the MoD, the source said, because the Navy wants a time-bound delivery of submarines to add to its falling strength.
The committee members said that, while the state- owned yards have the capability and capacity to build submarines, they should not be involved in the competition of the forthcoming tender under Project 75. The state-owned yards have their hands full with excessive orders and have poor delivery records. For example, the French Scorpene submarine being built Mazagon Docks is already behind schedule by more than four years.
In comparison, Pipavav and L&T have the capability and capacity and can delivery quickly, the committee members said in their presentation.
Out of the two approved private yards, Pipavav Defence has no experience manufacturing submarines but has a technology tie-up with DCNS of France. L&T has been involved with homemade nuclear submarine Arihant.