NEW DELHI: India will induct the six Scorpene submarines that it is building at the Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) only beginning 2015, a full three years behind the original schedule despite a hike in the project's cost, parliament was informed Monday.
All the six submarines will be inducted by 2018 at a revised cost of Rs.23,562 crore ($4.6 billion), nearly a Rs.5,000 crore ($1 billion) increase from the originally approved cost of Rs.18,798 crore ($3.6 billion).
This information was provided by Defence Minister A.K. Antony in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
"The original delivery schedule of the first submarine was December 2012 and remaining submarines were to be delivered with a gap of one year each. Consequent to the approval of the government for revision in cost and delivery schedule, the delivery schedule of the first submarine has been revised to June 2015 and that of the last (sixth) submarine to September 2018," Antony said.
The six Scorpenes are being constructed at MDL under Project-75 under technology transfer from French firm DCNS.
The government approval for construction of the six submarines was accorded in September 2005 at a total cost of Rs.18,798 crore and the contract was signed in October 2005.
The government approval for revision in cost of the project to Rs.23,562 crore was accorded in February 2010, along with revision in delivery schedule.
"The delay in construction of Scorpene submarines is attributable to initial teething problems in absorption of new technology, delay in augmentation of industrial infrastructure at MDL and delay in procurement of items by MDL due to their high cost as compared to the earlier indicated cost," the defence minister said.
"Most of the teething problems have been resolved and various plans have been put in place to minimise delays," he added.
As part of the technology transfer for the six submarines under construction at MDL, a technical data package has been provided by the collaborator (DCNS).
"This will enable attainment of significant indigenous competence in submarine construction, especially in the field of hull fabrication, outfitting, and system integration by the end of the programme," he added.