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Scorpene: Deal of Scorpene submarines confirmed during PM's visit to France, know the quality of this submarine

Pankaj Prasad
Scorpene submarines Deal
Scorpene submarines Deal

The purchase of three Scorpene submarines was announced during PM Modi's visit to France.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day visit to France came to an end on Sunday. During this, many important defense agreements were signed between the two countries. The two countries have announced a number of defense projects including joint development of fighter jet and helicopter engines and construction of Scorpene submarines for the Indian Navy. Earlier, the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) on Thursday approved proposals worth thousands of crores to buy three additional Scorpene submarines and 26 Rafale maritime fighter jets for the Navy.

Let us know what is the Indo-French agreement for Scorpene submarines? Why does India need these submarines? After all, what is the specialty of this submarine?

What is the Indo-French deal for Scorpene submarines?

PM Modi's visit to France on July 13-14 was very special from the point of view of India's defense sector. During this, the purchase of three additional Scorpene submarines was announced between the two countries. As per the information, the submarines will be acquired by the Navy under the repeat clause, after which they will be built at Mazagon Dockyards Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.

MDL is building six Scorpene class submarines under Project-75. For this, MDL had entered into a transfer of technology deal with Naval Group, a French defense company. Five of the six submarines have already been commissioned and the last one is likely to be commissioned early next year.

INS Vagir, the fifth submarine under this project, was commissioned in January this year. The others INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela were commissioned between 2017 and 2021. In May this year, the sixth submarine Vagshir began its sea trials.

Now, the DAC has approved three additional Scorpene submarines to be built by MDL. These are likely to have the same specifications as before.

Why does India need these submarines?

Officials associated with the deal say that along with the delay in the delivery of submarines under Project 75, the need to procure three additional submarines was felt to strengthen India's dwindling submarine fleet.

The Navy currently has 16 conventional submarines in service. Of these, seven belong to Sindhughosh class (Russian Kilo class), four Shishumar class (modified German Type 209) and five Kalvari class (French Scorpene class). However, the Navy requires at least 18 such submarines to carry out all its operations.

In addition, many submarines undergo periodic repairs, further reducing the strength of operational submarines. Even the recently commissioned Kalvari class submarines are soon to be sent for major repairs.

According to the Defense Ministry, the procurement of these submarines will not only help in maintaining the required force level and operational readiness of the Navy, but will also generate significant employment opportunities in the domestic sector. "This will also help MDL to further enhance its capability and expertise in submarine construction," it said in a statement on Thursday.

What are the specialties of Scorpene submarines?

The 1,565-tonne submarine is named after a species of tiger shark, a deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean. Submarines have superior stealth features such as the ability to launch a devastating attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons. Actually, Scorpene submarines are conventional attack submarines. They are designed to target and sink enemy naval vessels. They are capable of launching a wide range of torpedoes and missiles. Along with this, submarines are also equipped with a variety of surveillance and intelligence gathering systems.

Their length is 220 feet while the height is 40 feet. They can reach a top speed of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced and 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged.