New Delhi: Germany has proposed a government-to-government agreement for the sale of six advanced conventional submarines to India for the Indian Navy’s Project-75(I) procurement programme, India Sentinels has learned from diplomatic sources. The deal is expected to cost upwards of ₹45,000 crore. Germany and Spain are reported to be in competition to bag the contract.
A senior German delegation was in New Delhi recently to take the discussions forward. According to the sources, a German delegation may visit India soon to sign a preliminary agreement or an MoU.
It may be noted that the Navy’s P-75I has been considerably delayed. The submarines are to be constructed in India in partnership with a foreign defence manufacturer or manufacturers.
The submarines are expected to be built under the government’s “strategic partnership” model, aimed at bolstering bilateral defence cooperation with a sharp focus on stronger industrial partnerships. It may be recalled that India and Germany have had a strategic partnership since 2000, which has been gradually strengthened from 2011 onwards through intergovernmental talks at various levels.
The German defence minister, Boris Pistorius, made a strong pitch for the bid by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) during his talks with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh. As India Sentinels had reported, the two countries discussed the deal at the highest level during Pistorius’s visit to India in June 2023. Soon after TKMS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) to bid together for the project.
Following signing of the MoU between TKMS and MDL, Spanish submarine manufacturer Navantia and India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) also entered a similar agreement, under which Navantia would design the submarines based on its S80-class submarines and L&T would build the submarines in India.
If TKMS succeeds in its bid, which looks very likely now, the deal could become a “flagship project” between Germany and India.