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L&T, Navantia propose S-80 submarine design for India's P-75(I)

An artist's impression of the S-80 submarine that L&T and Navantia have offered for India's P-75(I). (Navantia)

Indian engineering firm Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has formed a teaming arrangement with Spanish shipbuilder Navantia to offer the latter's S-80 submarine design for India's Project-75 (India) or P-75(I) programme.

India has a longstanding requirement for six new air independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped diesel-electric submarines (SSKs), and the contract for these boats is expected to be India's largest defence acquisition project given its estimated value of about EUR4.8 billion (USD5.26 billion).

The shipbuilding contract will be followed by a 30-year life-cycle sustainment contract, and this is expected to feature a similar contract value.

As part of efforts to transfer shipbuilding expertise to the local industry, teaming arrangements bidding for the P-75(I) programme must feature an Indian bidder and a foreign collaborator. L&T and Navantia had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in April 2023 to collaborate on the programme.

Under the teaming arrangement that was announced on 10 July, Navantia would carry out the design of P-75(I) submarines based on the company's Isaac Peral (S-80)-class design. This SSK class is being built for the Spanish Navy. The programme's first-of-class was launched in 2021, and it is presently undergoing sea trials prior to its delivery at the end of 2023.

Apart from the S-80 class, Navantia was also involved in the design and construction of the export variants of the Scorpène class, which have been supplied to Chile and Malaysia, with French shipbuilder Naval Group. In addition to this, Navantia was also involved in India's own Kalvari (Scorpène)-class SSK programme, given the company's knowledge transfer arrangements with the SSK's shipbuilder, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).

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