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Scorpene submarine sea trials in 2013

Scorpene-class submarine. Photo: DCNS.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The first of the six Scorpene submarines ordered by the Indian Navy will be launched for sea trials in 2013, a top official of the firm constructing the submarines has said.

India had placed orders for six Scorpene submarines with French firm DCNS in 2005, of which the first is expected to be commissioned into the Indian Navy by mid-2015 after a delay of around three years.

"As per the schedule, the first Scorpene submarine would be 95 per cent ready towards end of 2013 after which it will be launched for sea trials," DCNS' India head Bernard G Buisson told PTI here.

Sea trials of a submarine are carried out when almost all the weapon systems and sensors to be deployed on board it are integrated.

He said most of the issues causing delays in the submarine programme have been sorted out and expressed confidence that there would be no further delays in the programme.

The six Scorpenes are being constructed at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited (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 that year.

The project cost was revised to Rs 23,562 crore in February 2010, along with revision in delivery schedule.

Commenting on the delays experienced in the project, Defence Minister A K Antony had recently told Parliament that "Most of the teething problems have been resolved and various plans have been put in place to minimise delays."

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