NEW DELHI — Delivery of the Indian navy’s first Scorpene submarine has slipped two-and-a-half years to June 2015.
“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,” Defense Minister A. K. Antony says. “Consequent to the approval of the government for revision in cost and delivery schedule in 2010, the delivery of the first submarine has been revised to June 2015 and that of the last (6th) submarine to September 2018.
The 235.62-billion-rupee ($4.2 billion) effort to build six French Scorpene submarines at the state-owned Mazagon Docks is dubbed “Project-75.” The delay in construction is being attributed to problems with the absorption of new technology, delays in the augmentation of industrial infrastructure at MDL, and delays in the procurement of some items by MDL due to cost growth, the minister says.
Antony says the Indian navy’s modernization priorities are the induction of frigates, destroyers, fast attack craft, submarines, surveillance aircraft, and aircraft carriers.
In July 1999, the government approved a 30-year submarine building plan, which envisaged the induction of 12 new submarines in Phase-I (2000-2012) and another 12 in Phase-II (2012-2030).
India’s indigenously built nuclear-powered submarine, the INS Arihant, soon will be setting off on sea trials. The over 6,000-ton Arihant sub will join the 8,000-ton INS Chakra, the former Russian Nerpa Akula II-class nuclear submarine that India took control on a 10-year lease in January 2012.