New Delhi: In the coming months, two sets of Indian Navy (IN) crew will travel to France for training on Scorpene hunter-killer submarines, six of which are being built at Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai under a Rs23,562 crore transfer-of-technology programme. The programme is referred to as Project-75.
According to Indian Navy officials, IN crew will travel to France to train with the French navy after some months. The IN expects first delivery of the Scorpene submarine by August 2015.
With the submarines being highly automated, they carry minimum crew levels of 36 officers and men.
The Project-76 submarine construction programme is running three years behind schedule and has already suffered huge cost escalation. The contract was tarred by scandals as crucial elements of the programme were left uncovered in the original contract which later had to be secured at huge costs to the Indian exchequer.
French collaborator DCNS and Indian shipyard Mazgaon Dockyard Ltd now like to express confidence that Project-75 is on track. The first indigenously built Scorpene is expected to slip into water in 2013, and be ready for commissioning by August 2015 after extensive harbour and sea trials.
The last of the six submarines is expected to be delivered to IN by 2018. Deliveries are expected to take place at intervals of one every nine months after the first one is delivered in 2015. According to officials, the third and fourth submarines are already under construction at MDL shipyard.
The Indian Navy is now looking ahead to the launch of a new programme called Project-75I, under which six new stealth submarines equipped with tube-launched missiles providing land-attack capabilities, as well as AIP (air-independent propulsion).