New Delhi: In a major decision, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Thursday approved indigenous construction of six submarines for the Indian Navy. The total worth of these has been estimated at Rs 40,000 crore. Besides, the Defence Ministry has also cleared another project – acquiring 5,000 Milan 2T anti-tank guided missiles for the Indian Army.

The project comes under Defence Ministry’s “strategic partnership” (SP) model that aims at providing significant fillip to the government’s Make in India program. This is the second such project under the SP model.

SP model calls for indigenous manufacturing of major defence platforms by an Indian strategic partner who will collaborate with foreign OEM to set up production faculty in the country.

According to Defence Ministry’s release, “Model has a long term vision of promoting India as a manufacturing hub for defence equipment through transfer if niche technologies and higher indigenous content thereby enhancing self sufficiency for meeting the future requirements of the armed forces.”

The first project under SP model was indigenous production of 111 naval utility helicopters in August 2018.

The construction of six submarines, the Defence Ministry said, is expected to provide a major boost to the existing submarine design and manufacturing eco-system in India through transfer of design and equipment technology as well as necessary skill set.

The development comes at least a month after Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said that the Indian Navy is looking at inducting 56 warships and submarines and the process for bringing in a third aircraft carrier has been moved.

The third aircraft carrier is in its third and final phase of construction at Kochi, while the sea trials for the warships are expected to commence in mid-2020, an ANI report said in December last year.

Adding further, it revealed that besides 56 warships and the aircraft carrier, 32 ships, and submarines are presently under construction at different Indian shipyards. These include the aircraft carrier, Vikrant, P-15B Class Destroyers, P17A class stealth Frigates, P28 ASW Corvettes, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Scorpene class submarines.