New Delhi: With the Navy facing shortage of under-water vessels, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today reviewed in Mumbai the progress of the long-delayed Scorpene submarines which are planned to be deployed on the western sea-board in Karwar.
During his day-long to Mumbai, the Defence Minister also launched a Rs 800-crore programme to modernise the Mazagon Dockyards Limited (MDL) where the submarines are being built.
“Jaitley reviewed the progress of the Project-75 programme as well as the other ongoing warship building projects including P-15 B class stealth destroyers. His visit within three months of taking over demonstrates the importance being accorded by the government to the indigenous construction of submarines and warships,” a Defence Ministry release said.
The Navy is facing a shortage of submarines and this was aggravated further by the loss of Russian-origin Kilo Class INS Sindhurakshak in a mishap last year and the Scorpenes would help it to meet the shortfall.
The programme to build six Scorpene submarines in partnership with DCNS of France has already been delayed by over four years due to various factors.
“With all the impediments and material hurdles resolved, the construction of the submarines is progressing on schedule to meet the planned delivery schedule of September 2016,” the Ministry said.
The crew has already commenced training and it has been decided that the “submarines will be initially based at Mumbai and shifted to operational base at Karwar after completion of trials.”
The Ministry said necessary impetus is also being given by the government to create associated shore support facilities as per the Long Term Infrastructure Perspective Plan (LTIPP).