New Delhi: Now that the first submarine of the Scorpene class, INS Kalvari is all set to start its sea trials in April, executive vice president, services, DCNS, Nathalie Smirnov, was in India recently to discuss the options for maintenance of the submarines.
“Maintenance starts from the day the vessel hits the sea,” says Smirnov pleasantly. Given that INS Kalvari has been undergoing harbour trials for the last many months, it would be due for a shot of maintenance before it is formally inducted in the Indian Navy later this year. And this is where Smirnov’s division will step in helping the navy maintain its fleet of new submarines.
“We offer a range of models for maintenance, servicing and life cycle care of the ships,” says Smirnov. While some navies, like the Indian Navy, prefer to maintain their own vessels, some, like the French Navy outsource them completely to the OEM (in this case DCNS) or a maintenance agency. “We are now in discussion with the Indian Navy on how much they would like us to help them. Also, we have to work out the maintenance schedule, including the refit and mid-life upgrades,” says Smirnov, adding that, “We can give as much support as the Indian Navy require.”