Navy Intends to Buy Advanced Subs
Sequence of Events
- In 2005, in a major defense deal India decided to acquire six highly advanced French Scorpene submarines worth $3 billion (about Rs 13,000 crore).
- On 6th April 2015, the first indigenously built Scorpene submarine was launched. In the same year i.e. 2015 Indian Navy planned to buy additional Scorpene submarines over and above an order of six vessels.
- Even at that point of time, the Navy’s Scorpene project was behind the schedule for more than four years. Under the 2005 deal, first submarine was to be inducted in 2012. Earlier, the Indian government had threatened to impose penalties if the submarines were not inducted on a schedule, with the first one to be inducted in August 2015 and the remaining five every six months following.
- In August, 2016, there was a reported leak of a massive cache of secret documents detailing the combat capabilities of Scorpene submarines designed for the Indian Navy by French shipbuilder DCNS and in the light of this data leak, India was likely to scrap the proposed order of three new submarines, that were to be built in addition to the six submarines that were built by a French naval contractor DCNS.
- In April 2017, India and France stepped up negotiations o expand the Scorpene submarine contract.
- After a series of delays, the first submarine Kalvari is now in advanced stages of sea trials and expected to be commissioned in a few months. The second submarine Khanderi was launched in January and is undergoing sea trials.
- As per the most recent advancements, Indian Navy is not interested in ordering additional Scorpene submarine
- The Navy wants to take forward the tender for a new line of advanced submarines under Project-75I
- Moreover, the Scorpene program is already delayed and now the corresponding technology is much older.
- In 2011, the then defense Minister A.K. Antony told the Indian Parliament that the first submarine was scheduled
- to be delivered in December 2012, and thereafter one each year until December 2017. By Dec, 2015 the delays in delivery had increased the cost of the submarine project by more than $1 billion.
Current Features of Project 751-class submarine
- The P-75I submarines will be more modern and advanced with all of them equipped with Air Independent Propulsion modules to enhance the reach and stealth characteristics. AIP modules were not part of the Scorpene deal, and the Navy is trying to have them fitted on the last two Scorpenes. That is contingent on the timely delivery of the AIP being indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization.