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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

India’s state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has initiated discussions with the French Naval Group regarding the procurement of three additional Advanced Scorpène class submarines for the Indian Navy. This move is part of a broader effort to bolster India’s naval capabilities, following the successful delivery of six Scorpène class submarines (Kalvari) to the Indian Navy.

These three additional Advanced Scorpène class submarines are expected to come for 10,000 crores each. The increased expense is due to several enhancements made to the submarines, including the incorporation of additional Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system plugs and the integration of advanced Lithium-ion battery packs. Furthermore, various changes in submarine sensors and equipment have contributed to the elevated price.

MDL has set an ambitious goal of achieving 60 per cent indigenous content in these submarines. This effort involves the integration of numerous Indian systems into the submarines, a measure aimed at ensuring that the vessels remain technologically relevant and capable while minimizing obsolescence.

The discussions between MDL and the French Naval Group are progressing, and it is anticipated that a formal agreement will be reached before the end of the financial year, potentially in February or March of the coming year.

In addition to offering to construct three more Scorpène class submarines at the Mazagon Dockyards in Mumbai, France has put forward proposals to equip these submarines with advanced weaponry. Among these offers is the inclusion of a naval cruise missile, for which France has also offered Transfer of Technology (ToT). The Naval Scalp, a subsonic cruise missile, can be launched from the torpedo tubes of the Scorpène (Kalvari) class submarines. Furthermore, France is actively promoting its F-21 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to be integrated into these submarines, further enhancing their offensive capabilities.

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