India-Germany Agreement to build 6 submarines
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to India on February 25–26 will focus on advancing a $5.2 billion agreement between Germany and India to jointly construct six conventional submarines in India. The naval project is a Western military manufacturing power’s most recent effort to wean New Delhi off of its reliance on Russian military hardware.
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India-Germany Agreement for 6 submarines for $5.2 billion: Key Points
- With 11 of its 16 conventional submarines being more than 20 years old, India is looking to rebuild its ageing submarine fleet in an effort to stave off China’s expanding influence in the Indian Ocean.
- Two indigenous nuclear-powered submarines are also available to the Indian Navy.
- After being one of the top importers of weapons for many years, the national government intends to increase domestic weapon production in cooperation with foreign partners.
- Just before Modi’s visit to Paris in May 2022, France’s Naval Group backed out of the project due to its failure to meet the requirements set forth by the Indian government in 2021.
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About the Visit and Agreement
- During Scholz’s visit, the two nations will discuss the submarine project, for which Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) is one of two international bidders. Berlin would support the agreement.
- According to the agreement, a foreign submarine manufacturer will need to collaborate with an Indian business to produce the submarines there.
- A condition that has been a sticking point for most foreign corporations requires the foreign company to provide a specialised technology for fuel-cell based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP), which is another need.
- Germany has been urged to guarantee collaborative construction of the submarines, not simply supply-side help, for India.
- Scholz is committed to reviving India’s defence and trade relations, according to another foreign ministry official.
- Government officials in Berlin suggested that the German government would likely support such a deal.
- Although there is no official decision, the coalition government has loosened its stance on India’s transfer of guns and permitted the export of a package of military hardware at the beginning of February.
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