Project-75 (India) submarine acquisition project
The Indian Navy initiated Project 75 India, a strategic submarine construction program to create advanced Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarines in India. The initiative, which is one of India’s largest defense deals, aims to improve the Navy’s capability in underwater warfare. The Indian government authorized the program in 1997, and the first submarine was launched in 2015. Project 75 has so far produced six submarines: INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vagsheer, INS Vela, and INS Vagir.
History of the project:
- India signed a deal with French defense contractor DCNS in 1998 to build four Scorpene-class attack submarines. This served as the foundation for Project 75.
- However, following the end of the Kargil War in 1999, the Government of India devised and approved a new thirty-year strategy.
- Since independence, India has prided itself on self-sufficiency, and the new strategy is based on the same principle.
- This strategy included two parallel manufacturing lines, one under the pre-existing Project 75 and the other under the new Project 75 India. (more popularly known as Project 75i).
Significance of India:
- Increasing underwater warfare capability: The Scorpene-class submarines being constructed under this project are outfitted with cutting-edge technology and are intended for covert operations. This increases the capability of the Indian Navy to perform underwater warfare and defend India’s maritime interests.
- Indigenous submarine construction: Project 75 India is a major step towards India’s goal of indigenous defense equipment manufacturing. The initiative entails technology transfer from the French defense contractor DCNS as well as collaboration with Indian shipyards such as Mumbai’s Mazagon Dock Limited. This collaboration has aided India’s ability to build submarines in-house.
- Boosting the Indian economy: By creating jobs and developing skills in the country’s shipbuilding and defense sectors, the initiative has helped to grow the Indian economy. In addition, the project enabled the transfer of technology and expertise, which will help India’s manufacturing sector in the long term.
- Strengthening strategic partnerships: The collaboration between India and France under Project 75 India has strengthened the two countries’ strategic relationship. The project has facilitated technology and expertise transfer, which will help both countries in the long term.
- Delayed timelines: The project has experienced several delays in its execution, causing the delivery of submarines to the Indian Navy to be delayed. These delays led to cost overruns and hampered the Navy’s ability to perform underwater operations.
- Technical problems: The project has also encountered technical problems, such as the leak of classified information about the Scorpene-class submarines, which raised worries about the project’s security.
- Integration issues: The Scorpene-class submarines being constructed under the project must be integrated with several complex systems, including the combat management system and torpedo launchers. The integration of these systems has proven difficult, causing further delays in the undertaking.
- Supply chain issues: Because the project includes the collaboration of several Indian and foreign companies, supply chain issues arise. Supply chain issues have hampered the timely delivery of key components and equipment needed for submarine construction.
In closing, Project 75 India is an important project that seeks to improve the Indian Navy’s underwater warfare capabilities while also boosting the country’s defense industry. Several challenges arose during the project’s execution, including missed deadlines, technical issues, integration issues, and supply chain issues. However, the Indian Navy and the defense industry have worked together to address these concerns and ensure that the Scorpene-class submarines are delivered on schedule. Project 75 India’s successful completion will greatly improve India’s maritime security and strategic capabilities, boost the country’s economy, and reinforce strategic partnerships with other countries.