Tarmak007 -- A bold blog on Indian defence: At DefExpo, Russia to hard sell ‘co-design-ToT-AIP offer’ for P75I subs

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

At DefExpo, Russia to hard sell ‘co-design-ToT-AIP offer’ for P75I subs

The Russian Amur-1650 diesel-electric submarine. (For representation purpose only.)
By Team Tarmak007

Chennai, April 10: Russia is likely to pitch hard its offer to India to jointly design and develop six diesel-electric submarines embedded with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, at a desi shipyard under the Make in India template.
Sources confirm that Russia is willing to offer a transfer of technology (ToT) for all these six submarines under Project 75I (P75I) for which India had issued a RFI in August 2017. Russian Rosoboronexport (ROE/ Rubin Design Bureau-Amur Shipyard, Russia & Italy) is among the four contenders taking part in the upcoming tender process. Others in the fray are Germany, Sweden and France.
On offer from the Russians are: a joint design construction proposal with ATVP HQ (DRDO), joint prototype-building and subsequent ToT for serial production to a selected Indian shipyard.
To bank on long bonding: To build their case, at the DefExpo, the Russians are to bank upon the long-standing relationship it has with India in the field of submarines. Indian companies are already making submarine parts for Russia, including high-strength steel take goes into the hull.
With India too putting its R&D might to develop a desi AIP for its future submarine programmes, the Russian side wants to have a common vision on many technical aspects, including the diesel fuel reforming process.
For BrahMos secure Ops: The Russians feel that designing a submarine together with India would help the BrahMos missile integration immensely.
“There are apprehensions about BrahMos being integrated on to submarines of non-Russian origin. A lot of details need to be shared with the submarine maker about the missile ahead and during integration. It is like virtually sharing your secret formulae to an open domain,” says an official in the know-how of the Russia’s ‘add-on offer’ to co-design-develop submarines under P75I.
Cost to come down: Russia feels that co-design of the submarines would turn out to be a less expensive affair than production under license.
With China and Japan have gone some distance in mastering the art of AIP, India cannot afford to be behind if the submarines under P75I and subsequent P76 are to be equipped with gen-next technologies that would keep them submerged longer with extended operational range. 
Russians say that the plan on P75I joint design is the best bet compared to joint construction. They feel in addition to India getting the much-wanted AIP technology, the work would require less initial investment, less preparatory time and can be launched quicker. 
Advantage to shipyards: The joint design gives the Indian shipyards more time to upgrade their capabilities to the next level, thereby making them to adapt to the technology needs at a faster pace. Joint-design will also give India more flexibility and discretion, in addition to having the confidence of launching the weapon systems from a familiar board.
“India will become an equal partner to the project sharing a full-fledged right of intellectual property and entitled to all the scientific and technological results of design and prototype construction. That would mean a huge leap forward even in terms of Make in India,” says a source.
(With inputs from Aishwarya & Govind under Tarmak007 Internship Programme.)

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