France pulls out from India's P-75I Project
Ahead of Modi's scheduled visit to France, French defence major Naval Group has announced that it is unable to participate in the P-75 India (P-75I) project, which seeks to build six conventional submarines in India for the Indian Navy.
Why did France pull out?
The French firm pulled out of the project as it could not fulfil the conditions of the Request for Proposal (RFI) placed by the Indian Navy.
Request for Proposal (RFP) requires that the fuel cell be AIP Sea Proven, which is difficult for India as the French Navy does not use such a propulsion system.
AIP refers to Air-Independent Propulsion.
AIP technology allows a conventional submarine to remain submerged for much longer than ordinary diesel-electric submarines.
India wants AIP technology as none of its existing ships have it while Pakistan and China both have AIP-equipped submarines.
What is Project 75?
In June 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Security had approved a plan for the Indian Navy to indigenously build submarines by 2030.
Under the first phase of the P-75 in 2005, India and France signed a $3.75 billion contract to build six Scorpene-class submarines.
The executing company on the Indian side was Mazagon Docks Limited, and on the French side was DCNS, now called Naval Group.
The first submarine under the project was commissioned in December 2017.
Thereafter, another five were built and on 20 April, INS Vagsheer was launched which will be commissioned by 2023.
What is P-75I?
The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-up to the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy.
In the late 1990s, at the time of the Kargil War, a three-decade plan for indigenous construction of submarines took shape.
This is known as Project 75 and Project 75I, two separate series of submarine building lines in collaboration with foreign entities.
Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also include advanced air-independent propulsion systems.
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