Leading naval manufacturer Naval Group has confirmed that it is in touch with both the Indian shipyards shortlisted for the ambitious P 75I submarine contract but believes that an exclusive arrangement needs to be worked out to take ahead the project.
The Rs 45,000 crore project has recently moved onto the next step with the shortlisting of two Indian shipyards – MDL and L&T – and five foreign companies they can collaborate with to acquire design and manufacturing technology.
The project is being processed on the Strategic Partnership model that will require the winning Indian company to manufacture six submarines in India. However, given that only two Indian shipyards are shortlisted, they have a choice of multiple foreign collaborators, leading to a potential clash of commercial interests.
Naval Group, which has manufactured the Scorpene class of submarines in India with MDL, says that the `industrially secure way’ would be to have an exclusive arrangement with just one Indian Strategic Partner.
“An exclusive arrangement with one SP might give more time to both the Original equipment manufacturer and the SP to prepare a thorough and exhaustive response to the RFP and thus provide Indian Navy with an offer with best possible solutions to all the identified requirements and minimum risks for the program over the long term. Indeed, exclusivity with a shipyard may be best cost effective and industrially secure way of responding to P75(I),” Alain Guillou, Senior Executive Vice President, Naval Group has said.
The senior executive said that the company was in touch with both the Indian companies since the shortlisting. “Like many other OEMs, we are having discussions with both SPs (L&T and MDL)