Scorpene delivery delay may affect force levels: Antony | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Scorpene delivery delay may affect force levels: Antony

delhi Updated: Aug 16, 2010 18:35 IST

The delay in delivery of Scorpene submarines is likely to have an impact on the envisaged under-water force levels of the Indian Navy, Government told the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The gaps in the submarine capacity were being addressed by modernising and upgrading the weapon and sensor systems on the existing fleet, Defence Minister AK Antony said in a written reply.

These steps have significantly increased the combat worthiness, he said.

In 2004, India had signed a contract with France for supply of six Scorpene submarines, which were to be built in Mumbai's Mazagon Dockyards.

The delivery of submarines has been adversely affected due to initial teething problems, absorption of technology, augmentation of MDL infrastructure and delay in procurement of material by MDL.

Due to the delays, the Navy is relying on its fleet of Russian-origin Kilo class submarines, which are being upgraded for capability enhancement and life extension.

Answering another query on the Coast Guard, he said the force has 24 aircraft and 21 helicopters located at various points across the country.

The Coast Guard fleet includes the Dornier surveillance aircraft and the advanced light helicopters.