In an apparent swipe at his predecessor, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that Indian Navy's ambitious Scorpene submarine project...
In an apparent swipe at his predecessor, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that Indian Navy’s ambitious Scorpene submarine project did not meet the timeline due to “lack” of seriousness in its implementation by the previous government.
“There was no review mechanism. There was no seriousness in implementation in timeframe… by the (previous) government… by the concerned ministry, concerned shipyard at that time,” Parrikar said at the undocking ceremony of first of Indian Navy’s six Scorpene class stealth submarine here.
Christened ‘Project 75’, the Scorpenes have already seen a delay of almost 40 months. While the first delivery was scheduled for 2012, the revised date is September next year.
“Lacking, as I said, the application of mind and the seriousness of efforts… no one was serious in getting it implemented in the time-frame,” he said.
“It may be that they may be serious about the project but the timeframe was important,” Parrikar stressed.
Senior Congress leader A K Antony, who was the Defence Minister in the erstwhile UPA dispensation, refused to comment on the issue saying he had not seen what Parrikar had said.
“I don’t want to say anything. I have not seen his comments,” he said.
Congress, however, reacted sharply to Parrikar’s comments saying the project had humongous challenges.
“It was a significant modernisation of India’s defence force… and this was just not equipment. It was the training, it was in multiple areas,” Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said.
Kalvari, the first of Indian Navy’s six Scorpene class stealth submarines, was today “undocked” here, paving the way for sea trials and its eventual commissioning in September, 2016.
The event was witnessed by Manohar Parrikar, who warned that for future projects, there will be a penalty for delay and reward for early completion.
The six Scorpenes are being built by Mazagon Docks Ltd in collaboration with French firm DCNS.