Ministry of Defence06-October, 2005 15:53 IST
India and France sign contracts worth $ 3.5 billion for construction of Scorpene class submarines for Indian Navy


India and France today signed contracts for the construction of six Scorpene class submarines in India under Project-75. The project will cost around three and a half billion dollars.

According to the contracts, India will build the Scorpene class submarines at the state owned Mazagon Docks in Mumbai, under transfer of technology from France. The first submarine will be ready for induction into the service within seven years of signing the contract. The remaining five submarines will be delivered at intervals of one year each thereafter. The thrust of Indian Navy’s 30-year Submarine Building Plan of which Project-75 is a part, is to develop national competence in submarine building. Towards this end! , the indigenous component of the machinery and equipment fitted on the Scorpene is expected to go upto 60% during the implementation of the project.

The selection of Scorpene was made after detailed techno-commercial analysis of the available options that best suited the requirements of Indian Navy. Scorpene is a state-of-the-art conventional submarine, which incorporates advanced stealth characteristics that make its detection difficult. It has a high level of automation and redundancy, which contribute towards reduction in crew strength, enhanced endurance and greater survivability. The modern sonar and electronic equipment fitted on the submarine, lends the Scorpene superior capability in detection and classification of surface and underwater targets. The submarine packs a lethal weapon outfit with anti-ship missiles and wire-guided torpedoes. It has an integrated combat system, which effectively synergises the capabilities of its sensors and weapon systems. Apart from India, Chile and Malaysia have also contracted to acquire two Scorpene submarines each. The first submarine of the Scorpene class has already been commissioned for the Chilean Navy.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Arun Prakash said that the contracts had received repeated scrutiny at every level, by different organs of the Government and the Parliament.

“In fact we were determined that in the interest of transparency and probity we would accept as much delay as was necessary. In this context we were particularly happy that for the first time an integrity pact has been signed today between the buyer and the sellers This provision has been included in the Defence Procurement Procedures 2005 at the request of the Navy and will soon become a standard feature which will be promulgated at the time Request for Proposals (RFPs) are issued so that subsequently there are neither doubts nor apprehension in the minds of either the buyer or the seller”, Admiral Prakash said.

Six different contracts, pacts and technical arrangements were signed in today’s ceremony. The technical arrangement provides unhindered supply of equipment and services for the entire duration of the programme. This was signed by Shri S Banerjee, Addl Secy, Ministry of Defence on behalf of India and Mr. Dominique Girard, the Ambassador of France on behalf of the Govt of France. The Integrity Pact assures avoidance of all forms of corruption by ensuring free, fair, transparent and unprejudiced dealings, prior to during and subsequent to the currency of the contract. This was signed by Dr. Thoma! s Mathew, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Mr. Pierre Legros, Chairman, M/s ARMARIS of France for the contract between Ministry of Defence, Govt of India and M/s ARMARIS of France. Another integrity pact was signed between Dr. Thomas Mathew, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Mr. Marwan Lahound, CEO M/s MBDA of France for the contract between Ministry of Defence, Govt of India and M/s MBDA of France. The contract for Transfer for Technology and design for construction of Scorpene Class submarines and supply of Combat Systems was signed by Rear Admiral RM Bhatia, Chairman and Managing Director, Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) and Mr. Pierre Legros, Chairman M/s ARMARIS. The contract for construction of six Scorpene Class Submarines at MDL, Mumbai was signed by Rear Admiral RM Bhatia, Chairman and Managing Director, MDL and Dr. Thomas Mathew, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence. The contract f! or supply of missiles for the submarines was signed by Dr. Thomas Mathew, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Mr. Marwan Lahound, CEO, M/s MBDA.

Top officials of the Ministry of Defence including the Defence Secretary Shri Shekhar Dutta and Secretary Defence Production Shri Dhanendra Kumar were present at the ceremony.

India constructed two Type 209 submarines of German design at Mazagon Docks Limited, Mumbai in the mid 1980s, demonstrating our ability to build hi-tech submarines. Many of the skills and technological expertise acquired in this process got dissipated in the 15-year hiatus that followed. However, with the signing of this contract, the Indian shipbuilding and ancillary industries will once again acquire the strategic capability to build submarines.

(Release ID :12592)