New Delhi | Larsen & Toubro and Spain's defence major Navantia on Monday inked a 'teaming agreement' to jointly bid for Indian Navy's prestigious P75 (I)submarine programme.
The defence ministry is in the process of procuring six domestically built conventional submarines for the Indian Navy. The construction of the submarines would take place in India and is expected to have significant local content.
Last month, German defence major Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and state-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) inked a framework agreement to bid for the mega project.
"Larsen & Toubro and Navantia, Spain signed a Teaming Agreement (TA) today for the purpose of submission of a techno-commercial bid for the Indian Navy's prestigious P75 (India) submarine programme," the L&T said in a statement.
The pact was signed at a ceremony in Delhi in the presence of S N Subrahmanyan, L&T CEO and MD, Augustin Alvarez Blanco, Naval Construction Vice President and Member of the Board of Navantia, and Spanish envoy Jose María Ridao Domínguez.
The submarines will be built under the much-talked-about strategic partnership (SP) model that allows domestic defence manufacturers to join hands with leading foreign defence majors to produce high-end military platforms to reduce import dependence.
The bidding process for the project called P-75 India ends in August. The defence ministry is likely to finalise the winner of the contract by the end of this year or early next year, officials said.
According to the agreement, Navantia would carry out the design of P75(I) submarines based on its S80 class of submarines, the first of which was launched in 2021 and is undergoing sea trials prior to its delivery to Spanish Navy at the end of 2023.
Apart from S80 class, Navantia has been involved in the design and construction of Scorpéne class of submarines together with DCNS (Now Naval Group) of France, which have been exported to Chile and Malaysia.
Navantia has also been involved in the Scorpene submarines (Kalvari class) built in India including handholding of the Indian yard.
Speaking on the occasion, S N Subrahmanyan said his company is proud to collaborate with Navantia for this prestigious programme of strategic importance for the nation's security.
"Navantia's glorious 300-year-old track record in naval construction and technical expertise gives us a competitive advantage in this programme and offer the Bio-Ethanol Stealth Technology (BEST) and environmentally Green AIP solution," he said.
"We are committed to providing the most contemporary solution for Indian Navy's requirements at a competitive price," the L&T CEO said.
Alvarez Blanco said: “It gives us great joy to be in a position to be the design and technology partner for P75(I). We are also in collaboration with L&T for the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) programme whose tender is eagerly awaited." "With these two prestigious programmes for the Indian Navy, Navantia is proud to be making a key contribution towards fulfilling the defence needs of India, a nation with which Spain shares an excellent relationship," he added.