Will Naval Group return to the Indian P75i submarine competition?

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In 1997, New Delhi formalized the order for 6 conventionally powered submarines from the DCNS Scorpene model, which has since become Naval Group. The first submersible, the INS Kalvari, which will give its name to the class to come, entered service in 2017, bringing considerable operational added value to the Indian Navy. In 2014, the Indian authorities undertook to launch a new program, again for 6 attack submarines, but this time equipped with an aerobic propulsion system, or AIP for Air Independent Propulsion. After a first request for information in 2014, then a second in 2017, 5 design offices were selected to participate in the competition : the German TKMS with the Type 214, the Spanish Navantia with the S-80, the South Korean DSME with the Dosan Aah Changho, the Russian Rubin with the Lada class and the French Naval Group with a variation of the Barracuda.

However, quickly, the requirements of the Indian specifications, and in particular the obligation made to the AIP system having to equip the ships to be already in service, bring TKMS, Navantia, Rubin and Naval Group to throw in the towel, leaving only South Korea's Daewoo Shilling and Maritime Service in contention. This situation of competition with a single competitor being very unsatisfactory for New Delhi, the Indian authorities announced the next revision of the specifications, so as to allow other manufacturers to join the competition, and postponed the limit for submitting offers to December 2022. For the time being, however, there was no indication that Naval Group intended to join the competition again, especially since no Barracuda is under construction, apart from the nuclear-powered versions of the Suffren class.

INS Kalvari Air Independent Propulsion AIP | Defense Analysis | Defense Contracts and Calls for Tenders
INS Kalvari entered service in December 2017

More a recent indiscretion made to the Indian press seems to indicate that, far from having thrown in the towel, Naval Group would still be active in the P75i competition, to the point of asserting certain exclusive technological arguments beyond the program itself. Indeed, according to the idrw.org site, Naval Group has offered India a transfer of technology around the Pump-jet for the Indian nuclear attack submarine program currently being designed. The Pump-jet (in the main illustration) is a ducted propeller that equips the Le Triomphant class nuclear ballistic missile submarines, and the new class of Suffren nuclear attack submarines, allowing ships to evolve much faster without generating cavitation around the propeller, and therefore much more discreetly, including at high speed.

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LOGO meta defense 70 Air Independent Propulsion AIP | Defense Analysis | Defense Contracts and Calls for Tenders

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