The government on Thursday issued an expression of interest to shortlist strategic partners to build six Project 75 India, or P-75 (I), submarines that will cost the Navy about Rs 45,000 crore. Interested Indian companies can approach the government within two months. Another express of interest to shortlist original equipment manufacturers will be issued in two weeks.

The Defence Acquisition Council had approved the proposal on January 31. This is the second project under the Strategic Partnership Model after the procurement of 111 naval utility helicopters, the Defence Ministry said.

“This would provide a major boost to the indigenous design and construction capability of submarines in India, in addition to bringing in the latest submarine design and technologies as part of the project,” the statement said.

The government said the aim is to make India the global hub for submarine design and production. The Indian Navy will have the option of manufacturing six more submarines in future. The project is expected to boost the core submarine and shipbuilding industry and also aid the manufacturing and industrial sector, especially small-scale industries, the government said.

“The overall aim would be to progressively build indigenous capabilities in the private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon systems for the future needs of the Armed Forces,” the statement issued from the Defence Ministry said. “This will be an important step towards meeting broader national objectives, encouraging self reliance and aligning the defence sector with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government.”