Saturday, July 2, 2011

India receives combat management systems for Scorpene submarines

French shipbuilder DCNS has delivered two highly sophisticated combat management systems for the first two Scorpene submarines being built in India. The system forms the "brain" of the vessel.

DCNS India Managing Director Bernard Buisson told India Strategic defence journal that
both the systems had been delivered to Mazagon Docks Ltd. (MDL), which was in the process of integrating the first one at present. There are about 20 to 25 French engineers
assisting in technology transfer and work at MDL was maturing to mutual satisfaction.

The first Scorpene submarine, under the Indian Navy's Project 75, will be launched end-
2013 and commissioned in 2015. The second one would be a year later. Buisson said that MDL was actually doing some work, at different levels, regarding all the six submarines under the project and that all the six submarines would be delivered by 2018.

MDL had built the hulls of first and second submarines, and begun work on the hulls of
third and fourth submarines. Simultaneously, other systems were being tested and installed on them progressively.

Buisson said that DCNS has had technical discussions with the Indian Navy on installing

air independent propulsion (AIP) systems on board the last two submarines. There would be
a cost, but the AIP would increase the submergence of the vessels by three to four times,
thereby making them hidden and more lethal.

The company was awaiting the navy's response, as well as an order for the new line of six
or more submarines under Project 75-I, all of which would be equipped with he AIP systems. DCNS had already responded to the Indian Navy's request for information (RfI) in this regard.

Buisson said that DCNS' AIP system was based on the MESMA steam AIP used on board all the French nuclear submarines. France as only nuclear-powered submarines and accordingly,
proven for technology, he added.

Asked about local participation in the Scorpene project, Buisson said that DCNS was also
talking to private shipyards as per the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and offset requirements.

"We are also in the process of finalizing the selection of our industrial partners for
indigenization of MPM (Mazagon Purchased Materials from other companies) items," he said.

MPM items include pumps, valves, air conditioning equipment and various sub-systems.

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