Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 17
The Navy will commission the second Scorpene submarine on September 28. The same day, the next generation of warships called ‘Nilgiri class’ will be sea-launched and the dry dock for aircraft carriers will be commissioned.
Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of the Navy, speaking to the media on Tuesday, said this is part of the expansion plan to make it a 175-platform Navy.
The same day, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be with the Navy on board sea-borne aircraft INS Vikramaditya. He will witness firing and operations on board the lead warship, a 47,000-tonne behemoth that can launch MiG-29K fighter jets from its deck and make them land on deck.
The submarine made by the Naval Group of France and Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), Mumbai, will be named Khanderi.
When asked if all issues like greater noise being made by the submarine had been resolved, the Vice Chief said all those issues were behind us.
The project to make six submarines will cost Rs 25,000 crore. The first one, Kalvari, was commissioned in December 2017. The remaining four were on schedule, the Vice Chief said.
Making these submarines is part of the 30-year submarine action plan to have 24 submarines by 2029.
The project for making seven next-generation warships—the Niligiri class—is a follow-up to the Shivalik class with better radars, firing ability and greater stealth features.
The first warship will get launched at sea. All seven, costing Rs 48,000 crore, will be commissioned between 2022 and 2025. The ships are being made using modular construction; that is, several parts are made at different places and then integrated. MDL is making four of these while the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata, is making three vessels. The money will be spent over the next six years.
The dry dock for aircraft carriers can even take in INS Vikramaditya.
On the capital budget—used for new equipment, warships, UAVs and planes among other things—the Vice Chief said that in 2012-13, the Navy had a 18 per cent share in the capital budget, which had dropped down to 13.66 per cent.
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