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Project-75I: Spain Offers Full Technology Transfer and Competitive Pricing for Indian Navy’s $5-billion Submarine Deal

Source : IgMp Bureau

Project-75I: Spain Offers Full Technology Transfer and Competitive Pricing for Indian Navy’s $5-billion Submarine Deal
Spanish company Navantia designed and made S-80 plus AIP-equipped attack submarine

Spain is prepared to provide complete air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology transfer for its stealth submarines, built by state-owned defense giant Navantia for the Indian Navy under the $5.27 billion Project-75 India (P-75I). Spain is also offering the submarines at a significantly lower cost compared to Thyssenkrupp, a key competitor for the deal, according to ABP LIVE.

Following a teaming agreement signed with Larsen and Toubro in July of the previous year, under which Navantia will manufacture the submarines as part of the government’s Make in India initiative, Spain will send its top defense official, Secretary of State for Defense Amparo Valcarce, to India for discussions with her Indian counterparts. Valcarce is scheduled to visit India on March 7 and 8, as per sources informed ABP LIVE.

Sources also revealed that Valcarce’s main agenda during the visit will be discussions regarding the six new-age submarines equipped with the latest AIP technology. Spain has expressed its suitability for the project, emphasizing that its submarines, despite having the latest AIP, offer the most competitive pricing compared to the German contenders.

Indian Navy to Procure Six New Submarines under Project-75I submarine program

Before the teaming agreement was signed, Navantia and L&T had entered into a memorandum of understanding on April 11, 2023, in Madrid for the design of the S-80-class submarines for the Navy. These six new submarines are intended to replace the 11 diesel-electric powered submarines inducted in the 1990s.

Photo Navantia1
Spanish S-80 Plus submarine during sea trials (File Photo)

An official closely involved in the ongoing talks mentioned, “The talks are progressing well. We expect positive movement on the deal post the parliamentary elections… This is not just a defense deal but a strategic move for both countries.”

Earlier this month, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera visited India, and discussions on the submarine deal were held during her meetings with Indian government officials. Sources indicated that due to India’s upcoming general elections, scheduled for the middle of this year, the talks on the deal may face some delays.

In June 2021, the Ministry of Defense proposed the construction of six next-generation submarines for the Navy, equipped with the latest AIP technology to enable extended underwater endurance. Navantia has offered the S-80 submarines for P-75(I), boasting a displacement of 3,000 tonnes and a proven AIP system. The company also plans to export these submarines from India to other countries in the long term.

Specifications of the Spanish Navantia S-80 Plus submarine include:

  • Dimensions: 80.8 meters long, 7.3 meters in diameter, with a submerged displacement of around 3,000 tonnes.
  • Crew: Reduced crew of 32, with additional berths for 8 personnel.
  • Performance: Top speed of 19 knots submerged and over 10 knots surfaced.
  • Stealth Technology: Equipped with Navantia’s innovative Bio-Ethanol Stealth Technology (BEST) air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, allowing for extended underwater endurance of up to three weeks at 4 knots. Notably, the BEST system is being introduced from the third submarine onwards, with the first two planned to be retrofitted during major overhauls.
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Spanish S-80 Plus submarine during sea trials (File Photo)

Navantia’s involvement in the co-design and technology transfer for the Scorpene submarines underscores its experience and commitment to collaborating with India in naval defense projects. The deployment of a resident team in India between 2006 and 2013 highlights Navantia’s dedication to ensuring the successful implementation of such endeavors.

The S-80 Plus submarines represent a significant advancement in naval technology, offering enhanced capabilities and performance. With Spain’s willingness to transfer AIP technology and provide competitive pricing, the Indian Navy stands to benefit greatly from this collaboration. The submarines’ advanced features, coupled with Navantia’s expertise, make them a compelling choice for India’s defense acquisition project.

Spain’s readiness to offer full technology transfer and competitive pricing for the Indian Navy’s submarine deal demonstrates a strong commitment to strengthening defense ties between the two countries. The successful implementation of Project-75I will not only enhance India’s naval capabilities but also pave the way for future collaborations in defense technology.

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