Source : Livemint
Spain’s state-owned defence giant Navantia plans to bid for an Indian Navy contract to build four amphibious transport vessels, adding to its other bid to develop six submarines–which it has termed “India‘s largest defence acquisition project.”
The company will bid for the four landing platform dock (LPD) amphibious vessels along with Larsen and Toubro, said José Porto, managing director of Navantia India, as part of its efforts to strengthen its presence in the Indian defence market.
Navantia has been working on the project since 2008, which, Porto said in an interview, had been cancelled twice in the past. The Indian Navy had released a Request For Information for the contract in 2021. Navantia expects the Navy to submit a request for proposal for the project next year.
Spanish firm Navantia to bid for Indian Navy Landing Platform Docks (LPD) contract jointly with L&T
The Navantia-built Juan Carlos I, in service of the Spanish Navy, visited Mumbai in 2018 as the company sought to display the vessel’s military capabilities. The company’s LPD vessels are also in the service of the Australian Navy, Porto said.
LPD vessels can be used to transport military assets, supplies, and manpower for warfare, as well as for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Navantia will also be looking for Indian partners to build wind turbine and renewable energy projects in foreign markets. “We are looking for partners in India to work with us for programs and projects not only in India but also in other countries in Europe and America,” said Porto.
On the company’s other ambitions in India, Porto said Navantia was confident in its bid to build six submarines for the Indian Navy under the P75 (I) program. For that, too, Navantia has signed a teaming agreement with Larsen and Toubro.
“Expected to be valued at over Euro 4.8 billion, the project is India‘s largest defence acquisition project. This would also be followed by a 30-year lifecycle sustenance contract of similar value,” Navantia said in a statement announcing its agreement with L&T earlier this year.
The P75(I) program aims to build up India’s indigenous defence production capabilities while equipping the Navy with submarines that have so-called air independent propulsion technology, which gives submarines greater endurance.
Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has also expressed interest in bidding for the submarine contract.
Navantia is expected to use the design of its S80 submarine class for this programme. Spanish Ambassador to India, Jose Maria Ridao Dominguez, told Mint in an earlier interview that Navantia possessed the latest propulsion technology, making the company’s bid for the Indian Navy’s contract competitive.