Submarine Deal From Germany
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius spoke with Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the status of a deal for the purchase of six sophisticated conventional submarines by the Indian Navy under Project-75I.
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 defence 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 defence 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).
Points to Ponder:
- Purchase of Submarines: The progress of a deal for the purchase of six modern conventional submarines by the Indian Navy under Project-75I was the main topic of debate.
- German Company Support: To win the submarine contract, Minister Pistorius spoke persuasively on behalf of the German firm ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). He emphasised that the German manufacturing sector, in particular, had a stellar reputation.
- Flagship Project: Minister Pistorius described the submarine agreement as a potential “flagship project” for collaboration between Germany and India. This means that the agreement might act as a notable illustration of bilateral cooperation.
- Military Cooperation to be Intensified: Minister Pistorius stated a desire to increase military cooperation with the Navy as well as other services like the Air Force. This suggests a greater desire to broaden the range of defence cooperation between the two nations.
- Make in India Initiative: The “Make in India” project, which aims to stimulate indigenous manufacturing and draw international investment, has the endorsement of the German Defence Minister. He emphasised that cooperation between businesses from both countries would be necessary for the initiative’s organisation and implementation.
- Competition: Minister Pistorius confirmed that there were rivals in the race for the submarine contract. He implied that TKMS will face competition from other businesses for the contract by saying that the final result will depend on which company wins.
- Federal Government Support: Minister Pistorius emphasised that the German federal government supports the country’s defence industry’s efforts, although he is unable to sign contracts. He gave his word that he would keep providing help.
- Position of Strength: Minister Pistorius voiced hope for the German industry’s prospects of getting the submarine contract. He expressed faith in TKMS and its future by saying that their position is pretty good.
- Investment in Defence Corridors: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh requested German investments during the negotiations in the defence corridors of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. This reflects India’s desire to draw in outside capital to expand its defence manufacturing capabilities.
- First Visit since 2015:The fact that this was the first visit by a German defence minister to India since 2015 underscores the significance of the talks and the possibilities for bolstering bilateral defence cooperation between the two nations.