- Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co. Ltd and Russia’s JSC Ship Repairing Centre Zvyozdochka have agreed to jointly refit and certify submarines of the 877EKM category at an estimated Rs.11,000 crore.
- India currently has a fleet of nine EKM submarines, an export version of Russia’s kilo-class vessels. Of these, eight were bought during 1986-1990 and have completed 25 years of designated service life.
- Refit and life extension will provide an additional 10-15 years of operational life, bringing great relief to the Indian Navy, facing serious depletion of its underwater assets due to delay in new inductions.
- One of the costliest projects under the Make in India programme, it is expected to scale up the navy’s undersea warfare capabilities and is critical to counter the rapid expansion of China’s submarine fleet.
- Anil Ambani will invest an “additional Rs.5,000 crore” over the next few years in Pipavav Defence, pitching it as a one-stop shop for all requirements of the Indian Navy.