NEW DELHI: Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG is likely to bid for a project to supply six submarines for the Indian Navy, German defence minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday, during a visit to New Delhi.
Earlier, Pistorius met his counterpart Rajnath Singh, at a time when the South Asian nation is looking to boost domestic defence manufacturing as it aims to counter China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean.
“We talked about a concrete cooperation in military procurement. That could be six submarines from TKMS,” Pistorius said, referring to the firm’s marine arm. “That could be a lighthouse project.”
Thyssenkrupp’s marine arm is expected to sign the deal with the Indian company on Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter said.
In February, had reported that Thyssenkrupp would bid for the $5.2-billion project in a bid to replace the navy’s ageing submarine fleet, as Western military manufacturers attempt to wean New Delhi from its dependence on Russian gear.
German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung first reported that an MoU between Thyssenkrupp and India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders would be signed on Wednesday, with the value of the agreement expected to be about 7 billion euros.
In March, India approved a budget of 560 billion rupees ($6.8 billion) for its navy, which has 16 conventional submarines, 11 of them more than two decades old, along with two indigenous nuclear-powered submarines.
“India’s skilled workforce and competitive costs along with Germany’s high technologies and investment can further strengthen ties,” Singh said in a statement that did not refer to the submarines, however.
Mazagon Dock did not immediately respond to a request for comment while Thyssenkrupp declined to comment.
Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2023