Naval Group eyes Scorpene maintenance contract

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on July 10, 2017

French shipbuilder hopes to conclude talks with the Navy by December

French shipbuilder Naval Group, formerly DCNS, is hoping to bag a multi-billion dollar deal from the Indian Navy for maintenance of six Scorpene-class submarines under the government’s P75 programme.

The first of the submarines – INS Kalvari – is scheduled to be inducted in the Navy’s fleet next month. It was launched in October 2015.

The second submarine – INS Khanderi – was launched in January and is undergoing sea trials. It is expected to be delivered by next year.

All six submarines, which are being built at the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) with technology transfer from Naval Group, are expected to become part of Navy’s fleet by 2020.

“The maintenance contract is still under works. By this year-end we will come to know how Navy wants to go about it,” said Bernard Buisson, Managing Director, Naval Group.

The Paris-based firm had been involved in the project for almost 15 years.

Now that the project is nearing completion, the company is pushing Indian Navy for the maintenance, repair and overhaul.

According to sources, the company is hopeful that its negotiations with the Navy will be concluded by December.

Presently, the Indian Navy maintains a substantial submarine fleet and is developing a new naval base in Karwar, coastal Karnataka, where the Scorpene submarines will be stationed.

The company, by way of technology transfer, has also created a whole eco-system of suppliers consisting of 43 companies who are now well-equipped to undertake the task of maintaining the boats, which includes engineering, planning and preventive and corrective maintenance tasks.

Some of the suppliers of Naval Group are SEC, Axiscades, Forbes Marshall, Kirloskar Pneumatic Co Ltd and HH Group.

Naval Group has already made a proposal to the Indian Navy on how they plan to go about the maintenance of the Scorpene submarines.

But, the Navy is being cautious in signing the deal with Naval Group because it has never outsourced the job of submarine maintenance to another firm, sources said.

They added that the cost of maintaining the Scorpene submarines will be much less compared to the maintenance of Russian submarines.

Meanwhile, Naval Group is eyeing a repeat order of three more submarines under the P75 programme in collaboration with MDL.

Published on July 10, 2017
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