Germany is in talks with India over a possible government-to-government deal for the procurement of six 2,000-ton (submerged) diesel-electric Type 214 submarines build by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) in Kiel, Gemany. A formal proposal has been shared with the Indian Ministry of Defense and is currently under review, according to defense officials. “The offer has certain assurances that the product will meet Indian requirements,” one official said. In a departure from its traditional approach to business in India, Germany is for the first time offering a military deal under the government-government umbrella for its new-generation conventional submarines that have exceptional underwater endurance.
The HDW Type 214 is an export variant of the HDW Type 212 equipped with an air-independent propulsion system using Siemens polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells. The Type 214 export variant lacks some of the Type 212′s classified technologies, such as its non-magnetic steel hull, which makes the sub particularly difficult to detect.
German company Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems that manufactures the submarine said – The Type 214 is well equipped to undertake a wide scope of missions ranging from operations in littoral waters to ocean-going patrols. The modular weapon and sensor mix, in combination with the submarine’s air-independent features, makes the HDW Class 214 predestined for:
- anti-surface ship and anti-submarine operations
- intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks
- Special Forces operations.
A representative from TKMS said that it “is not in a position to comment on talks between the governments of the two nations.” The spokesman did express the company’s interest in offering a package that, next to submarines, would also include “robust transfer of technology, training, and meeting offset obligations. We define this as a ‘no-holds-barred’ transfer of technology in line with Modi government’s ‘Make in India’ push,” he said, according to The Economic Times.
Russian and French submarines are, too, competing for the mega P 75I project, which is likely to see a private sector yard in India carry out a major chunk of the work. India will be mandating Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) – a technology that enables the submarine to remain underwater for several days at a stretch instead of coming up to surface frequently to replenish oxygen needed to burn the fuel — for the submarines. The Indian Navy already operates four German-made HDW Type 209 submarines, with two out of four boats, the INS Shalki and INS Shankul, produced in India under a technology transfer agreement. Source
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