In 2005, the Indian Navy selected the Naval Group’s Scorpène® as part of the modernisation of its submarine forces. As a combat navy, it has been operating submarines for over five decades. Strengthened by experience, the navy expected advanced performance and strong endurance capacities from its new platforms.
Transfers of Technology: stronger than ever before
In 2017, the 1st Indian Scorpène®, the Kalvari, was commissioned. All the submarines of this class are to be built in Mumbai under the responsibility of the Indian shipyard – Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). In order to successfully build the Scorpène® in India, which is unique in itself being first of its kind program having all platforms built outside country of OEM, Naval Group has carried out an extensive and first of its kind ToT regarding construction and manufacturing.
Building in India: a manifested goal
From the onset, the ToT has been at the heart of P75 which echoes the spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” policy. Naval Group created the Naval Group India subsidiary in 2008 solely for the purpose of indigenisation planned for this program. The subsidiary has indeed formed a foundation to firmly and sustainably anchor Naval Group in the Indian industrial landscape.
A major and extensive ToT
On the agenda: training in all the techniques pertaining to modern submarine construction, as well as in the manufacturing of many principal equipment. Technical assistance (advising and monitoring) on the manufacture and trials for the first two submarines; supply of all the documentation needed for the procurement of equipment and for the construction of the platform, as well as for the maintenance of the submarine were part of the deliverable..
In short, a major and extensive transfer of know-how was achieved.
On the forefront of indigenisation
The need to indigenise skills and know-how has been evident to Naval Group for a long time. As an active upholder of “Make in India”, Naval Group was able to work with the Indian industrial ecosystem, beyond the Indian subsidiary, to meet the program’s requirements, therefore contributing to the development of a sovereign supply chain.
Galvanising our role in India
The 3rd Indian Scorpène®, the Karanj was recently commissioned. Embarking the success of ToT on the first two platforms and the development of MDL’s autonomy, the requirement of Naval Group’s role was naturally limited on the following four.
What are the next steps? The delivery of one submarine per year, until the sixth one by 2023-2024. Now that P75 is well underway, Naval Group is shifting its gaze to the future and is looking to take all the essential measures to firmly establish itself as a key player in the Indian industry.
Naval Group’s commitment will extend beyond P75, with the supply of spare parts and key adapted maintenance services for the submarines as per the navy’s requirements. In parallel, detailed studies on the safe integration of an indigenous AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system developed by DRDO and Indian industry and preparation for its integration in Scorpène® platforms during associated retrofitting is being planned.
Last but not least: Indian future submarines
Developing a new submarine takes much more time, efforts and planning than any one anticipates. So to build upon what has been achieved incrementally is the most cost effective way to get more submarines quickly. P75(I) project of Indian Navy is one such possibility and will be an even more demanding than P75 in terms of technology, extended capabilities, localising activity and know-how. The teams at Naval Group and at the Naval Group India subsidiary have a significant asset in order to secure a key collaborative position to support Indian Navy and industry to pave the way for the future successful submarine program and strengthen the strategic autonomy already enjoyed between Indian and France.