New Delhi: The first of six Scorpene submarines, being manufactured by French defence major DCNS at Mazagaon docks, will be delivered by 2012. According to DCNS project director, Xavier Marchal, thereafter, one Scorpene will be delivered every year over the next five years. Marchal was speaking at the ongoing DefExpo 2008 here.
He also said that Scorpene submarines, fitted with BrahMos missiles, can be part of the mix of conventional and nuclear undersea firepower that India proposes to acquire over the next decade.
According to reports, the Indian Navy is likely to lease a nuclear submarine from Russia next year. It is also likely to float a global tender for its second line of submarines.
"If India wants, BrahMos cruise missiles can be fitted on the Scorpene," Marchal said at the ongoing DefExpo here. He also announced that the first submarine was scheduled to be delivered by 2012 with the other five to follow at a rate of one per year.
The French company, which has opened an Indian subsidiary in Mumbai, said initial problems had been overcome in procedural sanctions and other related issues and now the company would link up with Indian joint venture partners capable of offering specialised services, design and maintenance contract in other defence projects.
The Indian subsidiary would help in acquiring parts needed for ongoing projects in the country reducing the time taken on procedural issues.
Addressing queries about the capability of Scorpene submarines and its superiority to the Pakistani manufactured Agostas, which is also a product of the same company, Marchal said that the Scorpenes were better in terms of performance.
Executive vice-president and chief operating officer, Bernard Planchais, added that DCNS would also bid for the Indian Navy's next batch of six submarines whenever tenders are floated.
It was revealed technology transfer issues had taken a little longer than expected and had actually delayed the ongoing project by a year.