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Russia Pulls out of Indian Navy’s Project-75I tender after AIP tech hurdle

Source : The Economic Times

Russia Pulls out of Indian Navy’s Project-75I tender after AIP tech hurdle
Russian Lada class/Amur-1650 class submarine was on offer to Indian Navy's Project-75I tender

Russia has said that it will not take part in the Indian Navy’s ongoing procurement plan for new submarines, confirming that the Indian government has been formally notified of the decision. The Rs 43,000 crore plan to acquire six new submarines under Project 75I has also hit delays early in the process, with other foreign contenders and Indian partners seeking additional time to formulate their proposals.

The Russian side has offered India upgraded Kilo class submarines – the type that forms the bulk of the current conventional fleet – but has decided to withdraw from the contest citing technical reasons.

“The Russian side has previously confirmed its interest in participation in this programme and suggested a platform based on the design of Project 677E submarine Amur-1650. However, after receiving and studying the RFP finalising terms and conditions of the tender, the Russian side has decided not to participate in the tender for technical reasons,” a Rosoboronexport spokesperson told ET.

As reported earlier, the German side, too, has written to the government citing inability to take part in the contest due to technical reasons, including liability clauses and an inadequate budgetary allocation. The German side, however, has now indicated it can take part if changes are made to the tender requirements. South Korea, another contender, is also believed to have concerns about technology transfer.

Pointing to the long legacy of Russian origin submarines in the Indian naval fleet, the Rosoboronexport spokesperson said offers have been made to supply upgraded Kilo class submarines. “To reinforce the Indian submarine fleet, the Russian side has offered both supply of new diesel-electric submarines of time-tested Project 636, and supply of Project 877 submarines after their withdrawal from service with the Russian Navy and upgrade,” the spokesperson said.

The Navy’s ambitious plan to build six submarines in India under the Strategic Partnership model has hit choppy waters in its early stages, with the condition of a functional Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) spelled out in the technical documents ruling out most foreign collaborators from the project, a move that was followed by sharp protests.

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