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OLD ISSUE
INTERVIEW
‘We Expect to Launch the First Scorpene Submarine Sometime in 2014’
CMD, Mazagon Dock Ltd, Vice Admiral H.S. Malhi
What are the current activities at MDL and what is in the pipeline?
At the moment, we are close to completing the second ship of Project 17. The first ship was commissioned in April this year. We shall be able to deliver the second ship by the end of this year or early next year and the last one by the middle of next year. Thus, Project 17 will be completed by next year other than the guarantee obligations. As far as Project 15A is concerned, all the three ships are getting outfitted. Hence, at the moment no warship is at the construction stage. As far as submarines are concerned, that is, the Scorpene, we are now fabricating the hull and have progressed a great deal on the first two. For the next three submarines, we are making sections and sub-sections. We are yet to commence the construction of pressure hull for the sixth submarine. We have also commenced structural outfitting. We are awaiting major equipment from our various suppliers so that we can commence equipment and engineering outfitting. That will be the next big activity.
In addition to this, our modernisation programme will be completed next year. By end of next year, the major infrastructure which is envisaged under this modernisation programme will be over which includes the 300 tonne Goliath crane, the wet basin as well as the modular workshop. At the same time, we are making new workshops for shipbuilding, submarines and planning launching facility for the submarine.

When are you expecting the launch of the first P-75 (Scorpene) submarine?
We expect to launch the first one sometime in 2014. Normally, the launching is a year earlier than the delivery date but in this case we will try and make it even earlier.

What have been the problems that have led to this delay in the P-75 submarine project? What are the key things?

The major issue had been the procurement of MPM (Mazagaon Dock Procured Material) items. That issue has now been resolved with the CCS Sanction having been recently accorded. What comes under the purview of MPM?
All equipment comes under the purview of MPM. The MPM items comprise various categories like Cat A, Cat B and Cat C. Cat A & B items are procured from DCNS and from suppliers nominated by DCNS. These are highly critical items and as you know, DCNS stands guarantee for the first two submarines. For other categories there are open tenders which includes both Indian and global suppliers.

 Does that means that as far as the hull is concerned, the two important portions of the hull (the two ends), they could not be made here so DCNS is providing MDL with these parts?
In fact, these, the forward and aft bulkheads of the submarines, were envisaged for procuring from DCNS as Seller’s Furnished Material. These are highly complicated forgings, which require specialised infrastructure and expertise. Whatever extent of indigenisation we can do from third to sixth submarine with respect to all the equipment is being pursued in a focussed manner. The DCNS is also looking for tie-ups with some manufacturing concerns in our country. They will qualify them to produce these items.
 
 
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