The French shipbuilding major DCNS has opened a dedicated facility in Hyderabad in partnership with the local SEC Industries for making critical components for the Scorpene submarines. Besides, DCNS has also revealed that it is scouting for more Indian partners for joint ventures for manufacturing components for the roughly $ 4 billion Scorpene submarine project being developed with the DCNS technology.
The latest facility was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Defence, Mr M.M. Pallam Raju and this facility at SEC industries in Hyderabad will be making 14 key components that can be fitted directly into the Scorpene submarines. The components include ballast vent valves, high pressure air cylinders, hull hatches and weapon handling systems. SEC is also ready to deliver the first of cofferdam door coamings for the submarines.
A contract between DCNS India and SEC Industries worth $ 62 million was signed in March this year for the manufacture of equipment for the Scorpene project. SEC industries will manufacture the components under a TOT provided by DCNS India which will be forwarded to Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) to be integrated into the Scorpene submarines.
DCNS India officials have indicated that the contract with SEC is part of the indigenization program implemented by DCNS India under the P75 Mazagon Purchased Materials (MPM) contracts. This will enable manufacturing in India and lay a foundation for developing strong industrial partnerships and capabilities for the submarine programs.
Meanwhile, DCNS has restated that it is still looking for more tie-ups with Indian companies for production of equipment for Scorpene submarines. The French major has already entered into contracts with three Indian firms including Hyderabad-based SEC Industries and the intention is to indigenously produce around $75 million worth of equipment for the submarines through the JV route. Currently, about 30 local firms are on its radar as prospective partners.
According to reports, the first of the Scorpene submarine will be rolled out from Mazagaon Dock by 2015 and following that, the roll-out of one submarine will happen every nine months. The entire delivery of submarines will be completed by 2018. Mazagaon Dock, which will deliver four submarines, has already achieved hull manufacturing capabilities through DCNS technology transfer. The shipbuilder is slated to complete the hulls for all the six submarines by the year end.