Make in India: Mazagon Dock Submits Bid to Defence Ministry for Construction of Three Submarines

Indian Navy

New Delhi: Mazagon Dockyard Limited (MDL) in a significant development has submitted its response to the Defence Ministry’s tender for the construction of three submarines as part of the “Make in India” initiative for the Indian Navy.

Aimed at bolstering naval operations in the Indo-Pacific region, the addition of these three new submarines will supplement the six submarines ordered in 2005. The initial contract involved the acquisition of six Scorpene-class submarines from Naval Group, with manufacturing undertaken by MDL through technology transfer.

According to sources, the bids by MDL have been received by the Defence Ministry for the mega project, which will be built indigenously in Mumbai in partnership with the French firm Naval Group. The Indian Navy obtained clearance for the procurement of these submarines in July of this year, just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France.

Five of the six Kalvari class (also known as the Scorpene class) submarines India ordered in 2005 from France has already inducted and the sixth one is likely to be inducted next year. The commissioning of these submarines has been an ongoing process, with the first in the series, INS Kalvari, entering service in December 2017, and the fifth, INS Vagir, joining the fleet in January 2023. The sixth submarine, Vagsheer, is currently undergoing trial phases and is anticipated to be delivered to the Navy in early 2024.

The government in a Defence Acquisition Council meeting in July this year cleared the Project 75 Additional Submarines along with 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets. The submarines have performed as per the expectations of the Navy and the force wants the submarines to be inducted at the earliest. According to sources, Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar has also instructed officials to squeeze the timeframe to complete the procedures for beginning the construction of the boats in the Indian shipyard.

The Kalvari class submarines are extremely potent platforms with advanced stealth features and are also equipped with both long-range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles. Notably, the three additional submarines are expected to feature a higher indigenous content and will be equipped with the DRDO-developed Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, enhancing their endurance and overall capabilities.