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April 14, 2013

First Scorpene submarine to be delivered in 2014, France says

ABOARD FNS MONTCALM (MORMUGAO, GOA): After hitting rough waters for several years with bribery allegations, the first of the six Scorpene submarines, ordered by the Indian Navy as part of technology transfer from France, is to be delivered in 2014, French ambassador Francois Richier said on Saturday. The rest five submarines are to be delivered every year.

"The first submarine would be ready by 2014, heralding an important and strategic tie-up between both the nations on the defence front", said Richier told mediapersons on board French naval destroyer FNS Montcalm, anchored at Goa's Mormugao harbour for a naval exercise. 'Project-75' is under way at Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) in cooperation with French company DCNS.

"It is a full transfer of technology, something we don't do with everybody. Defence component of India-French relations is very important to us," said Richier.

The Scorpene deal has been under a cloud of controversy with the government conducting an inquiry into financial irregularities committed by a former director in-charge of the whopping Rs 23,562-crore project, which has been dogged by huge time and cost overruns. Defence minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha last month that a complaint was received alleging financial irregularities against the then director in-charge of the Scorpene submarine project in a defence shipyard (MDL) and the complaint is under inquiry.

The French envoy met Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar to discuss areas of cooperation between France and Goa, including higher education and urban development. 


Times of india

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