Larsen & Toubro and Navantia of Spain have signed a Teaming Agreement (TA) for the submission of a techno-commercial bid for the Indian Navy’s P75 (India) submarine programme.
Project 75 (I) requires the Indian bidder to tie up with a foreign collaborator (FC) as technology partner for the delivery of six conventional submarines equipped with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP), while achieving targeted indigenous content. Expected to be valued at over Euro 4.8 billion, the project is India’s largest defence acquisition. This would also be followed by a 30-year lifecycle sustenance contract of similar value. P75(I) would be the first programme to be processed under the Strategic Partnership (SP) model. L&T and Navantia had signed an MoU for the programme on 11 April 2023 at Madrid, which has now culminated in this TA.
As per the agreement, Navantia would carry out the design of P75(I) submarines based on its S-80 class of submarines, the first of which was launched in 2021 and is undergoing sea trials prior to its delivery to Spanish Navy at the end of 2023. Apart from S-80 class, Navantia has been involved in design and construction of Scorpéne class of submarines together with DCNS (Now Naval Group) of France, which have been exported to Chile and Malaysia. Navantia has also been involved in the Scorpene submarines (Kalvari class) built in India including handholding of the Indian yard.
Navantia’s state-of-the-art 3rd Generation AIP solution is the most advanced and efficient AIP system in the world, apart from also being the most compact, easiest to exploit and maintain and environment friendly. It uses bioethanol as a source of hydrogen which is known to be cost efficient, easily available, and does not call for any special infrastructure. High density of hydrogen in ethanol improves the AIP system’s efficiency. Ethanol, being in liquid form, eliminates the risks associated with storing hydrogen. In addition, wide availability of ethanol enables the system to be refueled anywhere in the world.
L&T and Navantia are also seeking cooperation in other military programmes as well as in green energy opportunities, including offshore wind through Navantia Seanergies division.
The agreement was signed in the presence of L&T CEO & MD S.N. Subrahmanyan and Naval Construction Vice President, and member of the board, Navantia, Augustin Alvarez Blanco. Also present at the occasion were Ambassador of Spain in India, H.E. José María Ridao Domínguez and Spanish defence attaché, Captain (navy) Fernando Alvarez along with senior officials from both L&T Defence and Navantia. The event was held in the premises of the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi.
Commenting on the occasion, Subrahmanyan said, “L&T is proud to collaborate with Navantia for this prestigious programme of strategic importance for the nation’s security. Navantia’s glorious 300-year-old track record in naval construction & technical expertise gives us a competitive advantage in this program and offer the Bio-Ethanol Stealth Technology (BEST) and environmentally Green AIP solution. We are committed to providing the most contemporary solution for Indian Navy’s requirements at a competitive price.”
Alvarez Blanco added, “It gives us great joy to be in a position to be the design and technology partner for P75(I). We are also in collaboration with L&T for the Landing Platform Dock (LPD) program whose tender is eagerly awaited. With these two prestigious programmes for the Indian Navy, Navantia is proud to be making a key contribution towards fulfilling the defence needs of India, a nation with which Spain shares excellent relationship.”