The government is all set to roll out the process for the Rs 60,000-crore submarine programme, moving swiftly after unveiling a major policy for defence manufacturing in the country.
The project is set to be the first one to be launched under the ambitious ‘Strategic Partnership’ model finalised last month which aims to rope in leading private players for defence production.
The Defence Ministry is likely to issue the Expression of Interest for the project soon, to kick start the process for mega deal, official sources said.
Engineering conglomerate Larsen and Toubro and Reliance Defence are the only two defence firms eligible to participate in the P-75 I programme, said another source.
The government will subsequently initiate the process to shortlist the foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for the project based laid down norms in the strategic partnership model.
Six Scorpene-class submarines are currently being built under ‘Project 75’ of the Indian Navy. The submarines, designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
The project P-75 (I) will be a follow-on project of Project 75. A total of six submarines are to be built under the P-75 (I) project.
Under the SP model, select private firms will be engaged to build military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign entities.
A 49 per cent FDI cap has been kept for setting up ventures under the strategic partnership model for production of defence platforms and the companies will be in control of Indian entities.
As per the framework, to manufacture major defence platforms, the select Indian companies will require tie-ups with OEM for transfer of technology (ToT).