French major DCNS stresses absorption of submarine tech

| Updated on: Jan 06, 2016
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Global defence major DCNS — which has responded to the call to partner in Project-75 India (P-75i) — has noted that it is important for India to ensure continuous production of locally manufactured submarines.

Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) is constructing six Scorpene class submarines (P-75) here via transfer of technology from DCNS, the French naval engineering company.

Kalvari, the first ship of Scorpene class submarines, was set afloat recently at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, and will undergo sea trials before being commissioned to the Navy in September.

Inordinate delays have, however, plagued the P-75, which had to encounter initial teething problems, absorption of complex technology and augmentation of Mazagon Dock infrastructure.

Even as MDL is on a tight deadline to deliver the remaining five electric-diesel Scorpene submarines, global defence majors have evinced interest in partnering India in its next programme, the $11.1-billion P-75i project. India is yet to formally issue a request for proposal for the P-75i.

India’s investment in P-75 is a valuable asset, said Bernard Buisson, Managing Director, DCNS India.

“It is important for the Indian Navy’s self-reliance to keep MDL’s expertise regained over the years by ensuring continuous production of locally manufactured submarines,” he told BusinessLine .

“Given the amount of investment, infrastructure, qualified staff and time necessary to absorb transfer of technologies for the manufacturing of submarines, the investment made by the Indian government through the P-75 project is now a valuable and strategic asset,” he added.

This, he said, would “need to be nurtured and sustained in order to allow the Indian Navy to continue to get state-of-the-art indigenous submarines through the indigenous route.”

The indigenisation of major equipment of the P-75 submarines by local SMEs “is going on with many already delivered to MDL”, said Buisson.

Stating that the P-75 is the most modern submarine of its class, with outstanding stealth features and an integrated combat system, he said there is a clear need for an additional order of submarines for MDL.

“The MSMEs already involved in the local manufacturing of submarine equipment for the P-75 programme will be able to widen their offer to MDL with increased indigenisation, both in terms of scope, depth and technology,” said Buisson.

Published on January 19, 2018

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