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Delivery of Scorpene submarines delayed: Govt of India

A file photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The delivery of the six Scorpene submarines, which are being constructed at the Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai, has been revised and the first vessel will be ready by June 2015, the government of India told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

In a written reply on delivery of the submarines being constructed under Project-75, Defence Minister A K Antony said, "The delivery schedule of the first submarine has been revised to June 2015 and that of the last submarine to September 2018."

The original delivery schedule of the first submarine was December 2012 and remaining were to be delivered with a gap of one year each.

"Consequent to the approval of the government for revision of cost and delivery schedule, the delivery schedule of the first submarine has been revised," he said.

The government approval for construction of the six submarines at MDL under Project-75 was accorded in September 2005 at a total cost of Rs 18,798 crore and the contract was signed in October 2005, Antony said.

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," he said.

Delay in construction 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 due to high cost as compared to the earlier indicated cost, Antony said.

"Most of the teething problems have been resolved and various plans have been put in place to minimise delays," he told the House.

On transfer of technology (ToT), Antony said, "As part of TOT, a technical data package has been provided by the collaborator (French firm DCNS). This will enable attainment of significant indigenous competence in submarine construction in the field of hull fabrication, outfitting, system integration by the end of the programme."

Replying to a question on ordnance factory fires, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has taken cognisance of all incidents of fire and blasts in ordnance factories and put in place preventive measures to avoid recurrence.

"In every case of fire/blast, Ordnance Factory Organisation has conducted a preliminary investigation and constituted a statutory board of inquiry with proper terms of reference to find out the cause of such incidents and to suggest remedial measures," Raju said.

In most of the cases, it is noted that the probable cause of accident was either due to mechanical failure of the equipment or due to non-observance of safety regulations by the person concerned at that point of time, he told the House.

"All the remedial measures as suggested by the statutory board of inquiry are being implemented within stipulated time after their acceptance by the competent authority. Stringent safety audits are also carried out to prevent recurrence of such incidents," he said.


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