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India to build six new submarines for navy

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New Delhi, (IANS): India will soon float a tender — potentially worth Rs.60,000 crore — to build six advanced submarines for the navy for which six firms, including Larsen & Toubro, Pipavav Defence and the state-run Mazagon dockyard, are in the fray, informed sources said on Sunday.

“The RFP (request for proposal) for Project 75 will be called soon. It is intended to build six submarines over eight years. These will be next-generation submarines with air independent propulsion (AIP) systems,” a senior official in the defense ministry told IANS.

“A high-level committee has already inspected the shipyards of several companies, both in the private and public sectors. Based on the committee’s recommendation, all I can say is that L&T, Pipavav and Mazagon Docks are among the strong contenders,” the official added.

“Project 75 (under which six submarines are being built with French collaboration) has already been delayed by nearly 50 months. It is being brought on track. This will call for reduced delivery schedules,” the official said.

Another official told IANS that internal meetings will also start to deliberate on the findings of the eight-member panel set up to examine the facilities. “The report was submitted last month. Deliberations are due soon.”

As for the budget, of the Rs.1.23 lakh crore (Rs.1.23 trillion/$19 billion) cleared late last year for defense purchases, a whopping Rs.60,000 crore was set aside for the six stealth submarines under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

In April, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had said that private players will also be invited for the P75 Project with incentives for early execution. But he also warned that if it is not completed in the stipulated time, heavy penalties will be imposed.

The government gave its clearance three years ago for six submarines with AIP capability and subsequently decided last year to build them in Indian yards as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The original plan was to import two submarines. But it was later decided to make all six subs in India so that the domestic defense infrastructure is strengthened while allowing Indian companies to tie-up with the best- suited foreign collaborator.

“With AIP, a conventional submarine can stay under water for up to two weeks. Conventional ones need to come to the surface every three-five days for replenishment of oxygen,” said an official of the Defence Research and Development Organization that developed the AIP system.

“We are the only non-Western nation to have developed the technology,” the official added.

The official said the Naval Materials Research Lab at Ambernath in Maharashtra, which has developed the AIP, has tied up with a host of Indian state-run and private firms as partners in the project.

L&T’s mega shipyard, where the private company intends to execute the project, is at Kattupalli, about 40 km north of Chennai, on the east coast. This complex also includes a container port and a modular fabrication facility.

In March, the Reliance Group, led by industrialist Anil Ambani, announced that it was acquiring from the promoters of Pipavav Defence their 18-percent holding in the company, apart from a 26-percent mandatory open offer.

Pipavav’s facility is at the location by the same name on the Gujarat coast and claims modern, versatile engineering and fabrication facilities with shipbuilding infrastructure that is also suitable for the construction of a wide range of warships and submarines.

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Microsoft Surface Pro Now Available In India

There is a full-size glass trackpad with five-finger multi-touch capabilities that allows for ultimate precision and the keyboard is wrapped in soft Alcantara material

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Global chip-maker Qualcomm Technologies and Microsoft have collaborated with leading retailers from across the world to offer new "always connected" Windows 10 PCs powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile PC Platform. Wikimedia Commons
  • Microsoft released its Surface Pro in India
  • It is a high-resolution tablet with 12.3-inch touch-display
  • Customers can buy the Surface Pro from a number of retailers in India

Microsoft on Thursday announced its Surface Pro notebook and accessories are available in India. Surface Pro features a high-resolution 12.3-inch “PixelSense” touch display that supports the new Surface Pen 4.

The first generation, 2-in-1 detachable of the Microsoft Surface series — with a configuration of Intel Core m3, 128 GB SSD, 4GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 615 — will cost Rs 64,999.

Microsoft introduces its Surface Pro Indian markets. Wikimedia Commons
Microsoft introduces its Surface Pro Indian markets. Wikimedia Commons

Customers can buy the device through more than 130 commercial resellers, the company said in a statement.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of Surface Pro in India and offer our consumers another superior device that will enable them create, study, work and play virtually anywhere,” said Vineet Durani, Director, Windows and Devices, Microsoft India.

Also Read: Microsoft Announces Indian Languages Support For e-mail Addresses

With a new hinge that adjusts to 165 degrees, users can now put the device into “Studio Mode”, thus, creating the optimal position to write or sketch.

It also has a tilt functionality that detects the angle of the Surface Pen to enable more natural shading.

At 8.5-mm thickness and weighing 767 grams, the notebook packs the in 7th-generation Intel Core processor with a fanless design.

Surface Pro has a battery life of 13.5 hours. Wikimedia Commons
Surface Pro has a battery life of 13.5 hours. Wikimedia Commons

 

Its battery supports up to 13.5 hours of life.

There is a full-size glass trackpad with five-finger multi-touch capabilities that allows for ultimate precision and the keyboard is wrapped in soft Alcantara material. IANS

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