French Scorpenes will replace Russian Kilo class vessels as the mainstay of the Navy's conventional submarine fleet in a few years.
Mazgaon Dock Ltd., Mumbai, commissioned a second submarine assembly workshop. Six Scorpenes are under construction in the first one.
This second workshop will cater to building additional submarines as and when the government takes a decision.
Having once abandoned the German HDW submarine line in the past, government sources said they were determined not to lose the technical expertise and skilled manpower gained from construction of the six Scorpenes.
The overall level of indigenisation in next line of submarines “must be substantially higher” compared with the Scorpenes which have around 35 per cent indigenous content.
The government would order two or three additional Scorpenes to keep the production line running and maintain the force levels on the fleet.
Additional Scorpenes or the new line of submarines are being constructed under Project-75I.
But the Request for Proposal (RFP) for P-75I is held up for want of clarity on Strategic Partnerships under the new Defence Procurement Procedure.
The proposal from Ministry intended to promote domestic manufacturing capabilities in critical areas has generated mixed response.
The first of the Scorpenes, Kalvari, is currently undergoing sea trials and is scheduled to be commissioned in October and the remaining are expected to be rolled out at nine-month intervals.