Larsen & Turbo (L&T) is all set to get a share of the Rs 5,000-crore deal with Russia to refit and upgrade Indian Navy's kilo-class submarines. L&T is already a partner with Navy for their nuclear submarine project, and will represent the Indian side for the refitting programme.
The aim of the upgrade and refit programme is to increase the life of the submarine and also improve the submarine's combat potential, The Economic Times said.
According to reports, in a letter to the Indian government, the Russian side had informed that an earlier partnership plan with Pipavav now stands cancelled as the shipyard would not be able to meet the deadlines set by Indian Navy.
"A survey of the equipment profile and finances was conducted at the Cochin Shipyard, Pipavav and the L&T yard at Kattupalli. Only the L&T facility was found technically capable of carrying out the work in the given timeframe," an official involved in the process was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.
After this deal, L&T would upgrade three submarines in India and the first of the four kilo-class submarines would be deployed to Russia for refitting and upgradation.
"The kilo submarines in Indian Navy are approximately 30 years old, and an over-utilisation of the submarines could result in danger, since an old submarine would have various limitations. The kilo submarines are capable of reaching a depth of 1,100 feet underwater. In the case of an old submarine, there are frequent breakdowns. Hence, they spend more time in the harbour than on missions. It's a good thing the submarines will be refitted in Russia. They will become more effective than what they presently are," a retired naval officer with information on the matter told IBTimes India on condition of anonymity.