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Germany Fully Supports India’s Submarine Project; Aims to Strengthen Defense Cooperation

1 month ago

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Introduction: Germany’s Ambassador reassures strong backing for collaborating with Indian entities in building cutting-edge submarines in India.

Byline: TheDialog

Article: The German Government has reiterated its support for the ongoing negotiations between the Indian Navy and German firm Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as part of India’s Project 75 I tender, aimed at constructing six advanced conventional submarines.

Dr Philipp Ackerman, Germany’s Ambassador to India, emphasized the strategic importance of these discussions, underlining Germany’s commitment to bolstering military cooperation with India.

German Support for Submarine Negotiations

In an interview to news agency ANI, Ambassador Ackerman reaffirmed Germany’s strong backing for collaborating with Indian entities in building cutting-edge submarines in India. He cited the need to strengthen business relations with India amidst regional challenges, noting the project’s role as a significant accelerator of the defense partnership between the two nations.

Project 75 India

Project-75 (India), also known as P-75 I, is a military acquisition initiative by the Ministry of Defence of India, aimed at the planned procurement of diesel-electric submarines for the Indian Navy.

The initiative aims to build India’s naval strength as well as develop the country’s capabilities to construct indigenous submarines. In addition to that, the Indian Government, through P-75(I), aims to bring the latest submarine designs and technologies as part of the project under Atmanirbhar Bharat. 

The submarines under this project would be equipped with the latest equipment including weapons, sensors, modern missiles, and countermeasure systems. The most notable improvement over its predecessor, Project-75, is a fuel-cell-based AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system. With the AIP technology, the submarines will be able to stay submerged for up to two weeks. 

The project, valued at over six billion euros, sees competition between Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and Spanish firm Navantia.

Strengthening Defense Partnership:

Highlighting concrete actions taken to enhance ties, Ambassador Ackerman mentioned military visits, joint exercises, and potential co-production of advanced military hardware between Germany and India.

He underscored that Germany’s engagement with India reflects its broader Indo-Pacific strategy, aiming to promote free shipping routes and preserve peace in the region.

The country seeks to diversify trade relations, attract investment, and strengthen defense cooperation with India, positioning the country at the forefront of its business strategy in Asia.

Thyssenkrupp’s Commitment

Thyssenkrupp’s Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Burkhard, emphasized the company’s readiness to meet the stringent requirements for technology transfer and increase the work share of Indian entities. He said that TKMS was the only firm with a proven AIP system.

“I can assure you both companies have many years of experience, knowledge and expertise and we are engaging our key sub-suppliers in the process of indigenisation, including for example our own subsidiaries ‘kta’ and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK. The plan presented by MDL to the government includes already a percentage of indigenisation for the first boat which is significantly higher than the stipulated requirement”, said Burkhard.

The signing of a memorandum of understanding between Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders took place in the presence of the German Defence Minister.

“As part of the letter of intent, we stipulated that, if awarded the contract, we would be responsible for the design of the submarines as well as playing an advisory role. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders would be responsible for the construction and delivery of the submarines,” added Burkhard.