ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has bagged a Rs 410 crore contract from state-run warship maker Mazagaon Docks Shipbuilders (MDL) to upgrade the Indian Navy’s Shishumar class non-nuclear submarine, INS Shishumar.
The move will help the company establish itself as a long-term player for India’s strategic needs.
The company that specialises in construction and development of non-nuclear submarines has signed a Medium Refit and Life Certification (MRLC) contract that will commence from October with the upgradation expected to be completed by 2021, the company said in a release. The upgrade will extend the operational life of the submarine by 10 years.
The announcement is part of the Indian Navy’s plan of overhauling the four HDW Class 209 Type 150 diesel-electric attack Shishumar submarines that were commissioned between 1986 and 1994. Two were built at Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) , the Kiel, Germany-headquartered shipbuilding arm of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems while the remaining two were built at MDL through a technology transfer. These were also the first submarines to be built in India.
The German shipbuilder will gradually also take up the refit of the remaining Shishumar submarines. In parallel, it is also retrofitting anti-ship American Harpoon Missiles on two Shishumar class submarines for which it had bagged a Rs 262 crore contract by the Indian Navy in July this year.
“thyssenKrupp has always looked at a long-term strategic vision while handling projects from eminent partner countries. We view this MRLC work in the same light and we are positive that programs like this will also translate into other partnerships with Indian players for future strategic programs,” Oliver Burkhard, member of the executive board at thyssenKrupp AG, said in a release.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is also one of the global defence players shorlisted to strategically partner with an Indian shipbuilder to build six advanced submarines as part of ‘Project-75 India’. The programme is one of the largest contracts to be floated for the Indian Navy by the Defence Ministry and is estimated to be worth more than 8 billion dollars (close to Rs 60,000 crore).
“We are willing to collaborate with any of the strategic partners that will be decided by the Ministry of Defence,” Gurnad Sodhi, managing director at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems India told ET. Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Reliance are the players in the fray to win the prestigious contract.
Even though the German shipbuilder is currently present only in the underwater defence technology, it may also, over time, enter the on-shore segment, Sodhi said.
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