”THE SP MODEL SEEMS TO HAVE CHANGED”
Geopolitics|December 2021
It is not an SP model anymore. An SP model should mean a long-term partnership with the MoD, presupposing assured and repeat orders and should not be based on contract wise competitive bidding, says RAJIV CHIB, co-founder Insighteon Consulting in this interaction with GEOPOLITICS
RAJIV CHIB

The reality in the Indo-Pacific today has changed substantially with the Chinese Navy visiting new international ports and increasing its bases in the Indian Ocean region. As the center of gravity of strategic thinking shifts towards the Indo Pacific, India too needs to prepare by getting its naval acquisition plan in order, so as to be recognised as a sea power which can preserve peace and stability in the region. Thus, an enhanced naval profile in South East Asia is required to strengthen India's “Act East” policy.

Toward this end, New Delhi based firm: Insighteon Consulting carried out a wargaming exercise on November 11 and 12, 2021, with the aim to better anticipate the future dynamics influencing India’s submarine acquisition initiatives, by playing out stalemate situations and strategic risks/opportunities.

In the naval sub-surface domain, the Project-75(I) is one of the most important and strategically significant naval programmes being undertaken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the new decade. For the Indian Navy, the P 75 (I) and the P 76 programmes are of the highest priority despite being continuously hit by procedural delays. The P75(I) programme is in line with the government’s Strategic Partnership (SP) Model which visualises designating a few private companies as Strategic Partners (SPs) that would not only assume the role of system integrators, but also lay a strong defence industrial foundation, by making long-term investment on production and R&D infrastructure, creating a wider vendor base, nurturing a pool of skilled workforce, and making a commitment to indigenisation and technology absorption. However, there are concerns about “dilution of the SP model,” by inclusion of DPSUs and further making it into a competitive Buy and Make type of a scheme.

Extracts from the interview:

The wargame concludes a substantial delay in handing over the first submarine to the navy. What is the reason for the same?

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