Accompanied by Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan, Mr Jaitley also reviewed the progress of the long-delayed Scorpene submarines which are planned to be deployed on the western sea-board in Karwar.
India's submarine strength is depleting fast and it is important to speed up production. The Narendra Modi government is pushing aggressively on its mantra of indigenization in defence and the today's launch of the Mazdock Modernisation Project (MMP) is a major step in that direction. Dutch consultants Haskoning Nederland B.V. (HNBV) have been appointed as the consultant for the programme.
Six state-of-the-art Scorpene submarines fitted with the latest equipment are already being built under the "Project 75" program, in collaboration with M/s DCNS France.
Presently, the first three submarines are in the outfitting phase, which is fine tuning of their systems. The first, meanwhile, is undergoing performance checks. Mr Jaitley has instructed the Naval Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to gear up for the launch of the first submarine in September 2015.
The crew has already commenced training and it has been decided that the "submarines will be initially based at Mumbai and shifted to operational base at Karwar after completion of trials."
Two important ships, the INS Kolkata and the INS Kamorta, were commissioned in recent weeks by Prime Minister Modi and the Defence Minister. ('No Country Will Dare Challenge India': PM on India's Biggest Naval Destroyer) | (Also Read: On INS Kolkata, PM is Only Partially Correct)
The Indian Navy has ordered over 40 ships, all being built in Indian shipyards.
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