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MoD appoints naval officer in charge of Rs 50,000 crore submarine deal

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has appointed a naval officer as the in-charge of a committee entrusted with the task of carrying out the Rs 50,000 crore project to build six conventional submarines in the country.

The Defence Minister-led Defence Acquisition Council had last month cleared the project to build six diesel-electric submarines under the ambitious strategic partnership policy to meet Navy's requirements.

"An Empowered Project Committee (EPC) under the Indian Navy's Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition has been formed to steer the mega project from a formulation of guidelines for procurement till its culmination," top Defence Ministry sources told ANI.

The EPC also has several other officers in it including the Joint Secretary and Acquisition Manager (Maritime Systems) from the Acquisition Wing along with the Joint Secretary (Naval Shipyards) to implement the project.

The Defence Ministry has also given powers to the EPC to hire and involve domain experts for the completion of the project in which foreign vendors will have to tie up with Indian shipyards for producing the boats.

From the Rafale deal signed in 2016, the Narendra Modi government has been showing faith in military officers to lead the committees for completing important defence deals.

The Rafale deal negotiation team was headed by Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria after which his successor in Deputy Chief of Air Staff office Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar was given the responsibility of the Rs 40,000 crore S-400 air defence missile system deal which was also completed in a short period after the negotiations started in early 2018.

In all the deals, the Joint Secretaries and Acquisition Managers representing the acquisition wing of the Defence Ministry have been part of the negotiation committees.

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