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TKMS, Mazagon Dock enter submarine partnership

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders are expected to offer the Indian Navy a version of the Type 214 submarine for the service's P-75I programme for six AIP-capable submarines. (Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft)

India's Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) and Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) have signed an agreement to support the construction in India of air-independent propulsion (AIP)-capable diesel-electric submarines (SSKs).

The deal is intended to position the two companies for the Indian Navy's stalled Project 75 (India) (P-75I) programme – estimated to be worth about INR400 billion (USD4.8 billion) – to procure six AIP-capable SSKs.

MDL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange that its “non-binding non-financial” memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with TKMS on 7 June during German Federal Minister of Defence Boris Pistorius' visit to MDL shipbuilding facilities in Mumbai.

TKMS said that under the agreement, TKMS would be responsible for SSK design, engineering, and consultancy, while MDL would handle construction and delivery to the Indian Navy. TKMS said that if the proposal is successful, the submarines would feature “significant” levels of local content.

To meet the P-75I requirement, TKMS is expected to offer the Indian Navy its Type 214 SSK, which displaces 2,000 tonnes and has an overall length of 72 m. The Indian Navy also operates four TKMS 1,450-tonne Shishumar‐class (Type 209) SSKs. These boats entered service between 1986 and 1994 and were built by MDL in Mumbai in collaboration with the German shipbuilder.

Other candidates for the P-75I contract include the KSS-III-class SSK built by Hanwha Ocean, earlier known as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), which was recently acquired by Hanwha Group. The KSS-III-class boat has a standard displacement of 3,600 tonnes and an overall length of 89 m.

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