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Project-75 Scorpene-subs of Indian Navy to get delayed due to serious defects

India's ambitious Project-75 which involves the manufacturing of Scorpene submarines in Mazagon Dock (MDL), Mumbai, is expected to get further delayed as the Indian Navy has identified serious problems in the second vessel, INS Khanderi.

Project 75 Scorpene subs of Indian Navy to get delayed due to serious defects INS Khanderi, the second vessel of Project-75 submarines (Picture Source: Indian Navy)

The first vessel in the project, INS Kalvari was commissioned in navy on December 14, 2017. The project includes the commissioning of INS Khanderi, is already running late by over 5 years is further expected to delayed by a year due to the latest problem identified by the navy. The vessel will not be commissioned into the Navy unless the defects and deficiencies are fully rectified, the Navy has clarified.

The biggest issue which the Indian Navy has detected in INS Kahnderi is the unduly high level of noise by its engines and propellers. An element of surprise is the major criteria for a submarine to deliver a deadly blow during wartime. To detect such sounds, generally, the navies mount sonar detectors on aircraft, warships, and submarines to look for sounds emitted by enemy submarines. Once detected a submarine could become easy prey to the enemy torpedo.

Shockingly, it is not the only problem which INS Khanderi is facing, the Navy has highlighted 35 other defects which could cause severe damage during wartime. Further, these defects can't be addressed quickly as the tests can only be conducted in the calm sea or as described by the Navy "Sea State — 1".

Under the Project -75, MDL will manufacture six Scorpene class submarines, the next generation diesel submarines for Indian Navy under technology transfer from Naval Group of France. The $US 3.75 billion worth deal was signed way back in 2005. The induction of all submarines is expected to be completed by 2020 but with multiple technical issues, the project is running late by over 5 years.