New Delhi: The Indian Navy said Tuesday its underwater capability would be reduced 50 per cent by 2015 because of delays in construction of submarines. While its programme to construct the French designed Scorpene submarines at the Mazgaon Shipyard has already suffered serious delays, the follow-on programme for indigenous construction of six submarines is a non-starter.
Defence officials said the matter was discussed at the meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) which met on Tuesday.
Under the Indian Navy's Project-75 it was to acquire 12 submarines. As part of the programme India signed a $3.5bn deal with France in 2006 for six Scorpene submarines, with first delivery from a French-Spanish consortium due by 2011.
The remaining five submarines were to be built at the state-owned Mazgaon Docks Ltd in Mumbai.
Construction of the first, second and third submarines were begun in December 2006, December 2007 and August 2008, respectively.
A faulty contract signed by India's ministry of defence has allowed the French firm DCNS to now hold the programme to ransom by demanding an escalation of price for portions of the contract to double the agreed upon figure.