On April 30, France’s Naval Group, one of five shortlisted Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) for the Navy’s P-75 India (P-75I) project to build six conventional submarines within the country, announced it would not bid for the project. The reason, Naval Group said, was that the Request for Proposal (RFP) “requires that the fuel cell AIP be sea proven, which is not the case for us yet since the French Navy does not use such a propulsion system.”
AIP refers to Air-Independent Propulsion, a technology for conventional — that is, non-nuclear — submarines.
What is the P-75I project?
In June 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved a 30-year plan for the Navy to indigenously build and induct 24 submarines by 2030. In the first phase, two lines of production were to be established — the first, P-75; the second, P-75I. Each line was to produce six submarines.
The contract for P-75 was signed in 2005 with the Naval Group, then known as…