Germany offers next generation submarines to India
For the first time, Germany has offered a military deal for providing 6 next generation German submarines to India under the government-government arrangement. This comes as a departure from the traditional German approach of staying away from contracts awarded to German defence companies in India. Apart from Germany, French and Russian companies are also competing for Project 75I to manufacture submarines in India.
What is Project 75I?
Project 75I or P 75I is an Indian Navy's submarine acquisition programme, under which the Navy plans to acquire 6 next generation stealth submarines. These submarines are envisaged to be equipped with both the tube launched missiles for land attack and AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system for greater underwater endurance. In 2014, the government decided to manufacture all 6 submarines in India.
Project 75I adds to Project 75 submarines
The Rs.60,000 crore Project 75I is different from Project 75, under which 6 scorpene submarines are already under construction at Mazagon Dockyard Ltd, Mumbai with French collaboration.
Ageing fleet affects India's capabilities
India has commissioned only 2 submarines and de-commissioned 5 over the last 15 years. India is now left with only 14 submarines, half of which have crossed 3/4th of their operational life, compared to China which has 68 submarines. China is increasingly flexing its muscle in the Indian Ocean region by frequently docking submarines in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, which affects India's strategic interest.
HDW 214 submarines
Germany has offered HDW 214 submarine for the Indian navy with the transfer of technology so as to make them in India under the 'Make in India' initiative of the government. HDW 214 is a diesel-electric submarine manufactured by German company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW). With a displacement of 1,700 tonnes, the submarine is fitted with AIP and can dive up to 400 metres.
P 75I submarines will have advanced features
All the submarines under P 75I come equipped with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, a technology that allows submarines to stay underwater longer (up to 2 weeks) than conventional submarines (3-5 days).