German Atlas Elektronik and French Naval Group are in the final race for supplying heavyweight torpedoes for the Indian Navy’s tender to acquire around 100 of them for the Scorpene class conventional and Arihant class nuclear submarines.
“The last day for responding to the tenders was January 17 last week and only two firms including German Atlas Elektronik and French Naval Group have responded to the request for proposal issues in this regard,” defence sources told ANI here.
The tender assumes significance as the French-origin Scorpene submarines, being built in India at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited (MDL), have not yet been equipped with new torpedoes.
The Scorpene-class boats have now been named the Kalvari class. The first boat of the class called INS Kalvari has already been inducted into the Navy and is carrying out operational duties.
As per the details of the project, the immediate requirement of the Navy for heavyweight torpedoes would be met by the acquisition to be made through the foreign vendors, while the long-term bulk requirement would be fulfilled through the ‘Made in India’ route.
The Navy has also taken assurances from global suppliers that their torpedoes would be allowed by their respective governments for being deployed on the Arihant class nuclear powered ballistic submarines.
Global manufacturers from France, Sweden, Russia and Germany were issued tenders for the heavyweight torpedoes for the Navy but only two firms have responded.
The Navy had earlier selected the Black Shark torpedos belonging to the Italian firm WASS which was part of the scam-tainted Finmecannica group in the AgustaWestland chopper scam. However, it had to be cancelled in the wake of the controversy.