Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tech Transfer Issues Cleared For Scorpene Buy

By Neelam Mathews mathews.neelam@gmail.com

French shipbuilder DCNS says the first of six diesel-electric Scorpene submarines will be delivered to India’s Magazon Dock Ltd. (MDL) in Mumbai in 2013, now that initial roadblocks concerning technology transfer have been overcome.
Scorpene “is one of the biggest transfer of technology [TOT] programs because it is the first time that the TOT starts from the first ship, which is generally built at the OEM premises,” says Patrick Boissier, Chairman and CEO of DCNS. “MDL now has the necessary technology for submarine production.”
The project has been delayed and costs have escalated as a result of MDL’s learning process. The combat systems have been delivered for the first sub, while the frame of the third, fourth and fifth submarines are in progress.
“We are motivated to meet the delivery date,” Boissier says. He was a member of the business delegation accompanying French President Nicolas Sarkozy to India.
“DCNS will be involved with strategic cooperation between the two governments,” Boissier adds. “It’s a win-win strategy for us.”
The company says it could offer a larger version for India’s upcoming six-submarine Project 75I class. It has held discussions with the Indian navy on the addition of Air Independent Propulsion, for which the request for proposals is expected in 2011.
DCNS has not discussed its new Gowind family of offshore vessels with India, but such discussions are likely, an official says. With a 360-deg. panoramic surveillance bridge, single central mast, tailored communication system, ample payload capacity (in containers or under fixed covers) and onboard recovery and handling systems, the 1,000-2,500-ton-class Gowind vessels are well-suited for UAV operations, according to the company.
Scorpene submarine photo: DCNS

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