New Delhi: The first of six French-designed Scorpene submarines which are being manufactured in Mumbai was launched into the water today.
Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar launched the Scorpene submarine at the Mazagaon Dockyard Ltd in Mumbai.
Parikkar, along with Chief Of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others officials attended a puja ceremony to mark the auspicious undocking of the vessel.
India is building six Scorpene submarines with the help of French firm DCNS at MDL. Though the first Scorpene submarine was scheduled to be handed over in 2012, the revised dates are now September 2016.
Presently, Indian Navy has 14 conventional diesel-electric powered submarines which include 10 Russian Kilo Class and four German HDW class vessels.
Parrikar also reviewed the progress of the much-delayed Scorpene submarine project at the Western Naval Command.
The diesel-electric submarines are being built at the state-run Mazgaon docks in Mumbai; they are expected to be inducted into the Navy by 2018, about four years later than planned.
The project has also over-shot the budget by nearly Rs. 5,000 crore and is expected to cost about Rs. 23,000 crore. "One (Scorpene) submarine will be delivered every nine months," said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
In October 2005, the contract for 'Project-75' was awarded to French defence giant DCNS to build six Franco-Spanish Scorpene-class diesel attack submarines at MDL. The deal involved extensive technology transfer agreements.