New Delhi: Adani Defence and its partner, state-owned Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), are out of the race to bid for the Navy’s Rs 50,000-crore Project 75-India (P-75I) to build six conventional submarines.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday approved only two Indian companies — the state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) and private sector giant Larsen & Toubro — as Indian strategic partners (ISPs) to bid for the project.
The DAC also approved five foreign companies as potential original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that could collaborate with the ISPs for the project: Rosoboronexport (Russia), Naval Group (France), Daewoo (South Korea), Thysenkrupp Marine Systems (Germany) and Navantia (Spain).
This was first DAC meeting which was attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat after taking charge.
“The Navy’s empowered committee had not approved the joint proposal of Adani Defence and HSL on technical grounds. The DAC has accepted the empowered committee decision which had shortlised only two Indian companies,” a source said.
Sources said that now a request for proposal (RFP) will be issued and the bids submitted will be evaluated. “The lowest bidder (L1) will get clearance for the project,” the source said.
Last week, the Congress had alleged that the Modi government was planning to overrule the Navy decision and favour the Adani Group for the project, violating the defence procurement policy.
An official statement issued by the defence ministry said this programme is being taken forward under the ‘Strategic Partnership Model (SPM)’ promulgated in 2017 to give a major boost to ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector.
“The strategic partner is expected to play a transformational role in building an eco-system in the country, comprising development entities, specialised vendors and suppliers; especially those from the MSME sector," said the statement.
It said that SPM also aims at promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment, in addition to establishing an industrial and R&D eco-system capable of meeting the future requirements of the armed forces besides giving boost to exports.
The DAC accorded approval for procurement of equipment worth over Rs 5,100 crore from indigenous sources. These include sophisticated electronic warfare systems for the Army designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured locally by industry.
These systems will be used in the deserts and the plains and will provide comprehensive electronic support and counter-measure capabilities to the field formations in both communication and other aspects of electronic warfare....