Friday, April 6, 2012
First Scorpene Induction In Indian Navy By 2015
To augment its depleting conventional submarine fleet, India will induct six Scorpene submarines currently being built at Mumbai's Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) only from 2015, a full three years behind its original schedule of 2012.
The project to build the Scorpenes with technology borrowed from France's DCNS has already had a cost escalation of nearly Rs.5,000 crore or $1 billion.
All the six submarines will be inducted by 2018.
The revised cost of the submarines, called Project 75, is Rs.23,562 crore or $4.6 billion. The originally approved cost was Rs.18,798 crore or $3.6 billion.
"The original delivery schedule of the first submarine was December 2012 and remaining submarines were to be delivered with a gap of one year each," Anony told Indian Parliament.
"Consequent to the approval of the government for revision in cost and delivery schedule, the delivery schedule of the first submarine has been revised to June 2015 and that of the last (sixth) submarine to September 2018," he said.
The government approval for construction of the six submarines was accorded in September 2005. The contract was signed in October 2005.
The government approved the revised cost in February 2010, along with the changes in the delivery schedule.
"The delay in construction of Scorpene submarines is attributable to initial teething problems in absorption of new technology, delay in augmentation of industrial infrastructure at MDL and delay in procurement of items by MDL due to their high cost as compared to the earlier indicated cost.
"Most of the teething problems have been resolved and various plans have been put in place to minimise delays" Antony said.
A technical data package has been provided by the collaborator (DCNS) as part of the technology transfer for the six submarines under construction at MDL.
"This will enable attainment of significant indigenous competence in submarine construction, especially in the field of hull fabrication, outfitting, and system integration by the end of the programme," he added.
India currently operates only 14 conventional diesel-electric submarines, of which 10 are aging Russian Kilo class and the rest four German HDW class.
It has a 30-vessel plan that was to be executed before 2022, but the projects have been delayed, with the follow-on Project 75 India not even reaching the state of contract awarding.