Subtlety is, of course, my strong point...........
Second Submarine Line for Mazagon Dock
(Source: Business Standard; published Aug. 31, 2010)
NEW DELHI ---With public sector shipyard Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai, years behind schedule in building six conventional Scorpene submarines for the Indian Navy, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is handing Mazagon Dock another lucrative order to build three more submarines.
Although private sector shipbuilders — especially L&T and Pipavav Shipyard Ltd (PSL) — argue that Mazagon Dock already has more than it can handle, MoD insists the public sector shipyard can execute this order.
The MoD’s Secretary of Defence Production, R K Singh, talking exclusively to Business Standard, has detailed Mazagon Dock’s road map for simultaneously executing the Scorpene order (Project 75, as it is termed) and the three additional submarines that are a part of the six-submarine Project 75I order.
Business Standard had reported yesterday that the MoD’s apex Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had ruled out India’s private sector from Project 75I. The first two submarines of Project 75I will be built abroad in the foreign collaborator’s shipyard. The other four submarines will be built in MoD-owned shipyards: recently acquired Hindustan Shipyard Ltd will build one, while MDL builds three.
R K Singh explains, “First, the Scorpene delay will be trimmed down to less than 18 months. The original plan was for the first Scorpene to be delivered in December 2012; and the other five submarines at one-year intervals till December 2017. While the first Scorpene will only be ready in August 2015, Mazagon Dock will deliver the others faster, at nine-month intervals, and finish the last Scorpene by May 2019.”
MoD sources say Mazagon Dock is being pushed towards an even more ambitious delivery schedule: Of one Scorpene every seven months. On August 11, Defence Minister A K Antony told Parliament that Project 75 would complete work by the second half of 2018.
But Project 75I, argues R K Singh, does not have to wait till then; it can begin as early as 2012. By that year, with all six Scorpene hulls fully built, the specialised hull workers and welders of Mazagon Dock could begin fabricating hulls for Project 75I.
Singh explains, “Two Scorpene hulls are already built and MDL is close to completing the third. By early 2012, all six Scorpene hulls will be ready. MDL’s hull fabrication shop — which cuts steel for the hull, rolls it, fabricates hull segments and then welds them together into a complete hull — will be sitting idle from 2012, and ready to be diverted to Project 75I.”
The Department of Defence Production also points out that Project 75I cannot begin for another five years. At least 12-24 months are needed for a Cabinet sanction for building the first two Project 75I submarines abroad. Selecting a foreign shipyard as collaborator for Project 75I will take another 24-36 months and then one year for price negotiations.
The six Project 75I submarines will be built on a new production line, on which work has already begun. During a visit to MDL in 2009, Business Standard was shown a 16-acre plot, adjoining MDL’s facilities in Mazagon, Mumbai, which the shipyard had acquired in the 1980s from Gujarat state PSU, Alcock Ashdown.
R K Singh confirmed, “We are going to execute Project 75I in a new yard, the Alcock Yard, on which MDL is building a second submarine production line.”
Private sector shipbuilder Larsen & Toubro finds the MoD’s decision to patronise Mazagon Dock inexplicable. L&T sources say the company was given to understand that they would participate in Project 75I as the second submarine line. Now, L&T’s experience and infrastructure would lie idle.
India OKs $6.5B Plan To Build Stealth Destroyers
By Vivek Raghuvanshi
Published: 2 Sep 2010 12:40
There are already significant concerns Mazagon Dockyards cannot meet CURRENT ship-building programmes yet they give them another FOUR major warships! Way to go India, a clusterfuck before you even start...........
NEW DELHI - The Indian government has approved spending $6.5 billion to build four stealth destroyers for the Navy under Project-15B.
The Indian Defence Ministry cleared the project in late 2009, but the government only approved funding last month, a senior Defence Ministry official said.
The four destroyers will be built at the Indian Navy's Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks after construction is completed for three earlier stealth warships under Project 15-A. These are expected to be completed by 2012-2014.
The new destroyers will have greater stealth and advanced sensor and weapon packages, and will be fitted with a 1,000-kilometer-range nuclear capable cruise missile currently being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation with Israeli help, Navy sources said.
The new stealth destroyers also will be fitted with an extended-range surface-to-air missile system, which is being developed jointly between India and Israel.
There was no competitive bidding for the four 6,800-ton destroyers since Mazagon Dock is the only Indian shipyard large enough to build destroyers.
The Navy, which has been retiring old ships faster than building new ones, has given orders to various shipyards for the building of 39 warships. The Navy's current strength is about 140 vessels. Most of these warships are of Russian make and one Navy officials said the service is concerned that these ships are aging faster than new ones can be inducted.
Naval responsibilities have increased with India emerging as a major power throughout the Indian Ocean region.
In July, the Defence Ministry approved procurement of six conventional submarines worth more than $10 billion. Under the program, three of the subs will be built at Mazagon Docks, one will be built at state-owned Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam with the help of a foreign collaborator, and two will be purchased directly from an overseas vendor.
Battle Rages in India over New Warship Construction
(Source: Forecast International; issued September 2, 2010)
NEW DELHI --- An increasingly three-way bitter battle is raging in the Indian Navy between supporters of aircraft carrier construction and those who favor submarine building. The latter group is further split between those submariners who wish to concentrate on nuclear submarine construction and those who wish to see additional production of diesel-electric submarines.
It is this three-way fight that has seriously delayed the second phase of India's Project 75 diesel-electric submarine program.
Project 75 envisioned building 24 conventional submarines in India. Six were to be built from Western technology and six with Russian collaboration; then Indian designers, having absorbed the best of both worlds, would build 12 submarines indigenously.
Project 75, to build six Scorpene submarines (the "Western" six), was contracted in 2005. The Indian MoD believes it is still four to six years away from Project 75I; i.e., beginning work on the second six submarines. In addition, the wisdom of building the second group of six boats using Russian technology has been questioned.
However, the Indian Navy carrier lobby, headed by the last two naval chiefs, has no interest in using the Navy’s limited budget for building submarines. So the lobby has exploited the division of opinion among submariners over whether to concentrate on nuclear-powered versus conventional submarines to push submarine building into the future.
The lobbyists have argued that India needs SSBNs to make the long-sought-after Indian nuclear triad a reality and provide a secure second strike capability. However, SSBNs are not a part of the fighting navy; they constitute a country’s nuclear deterrent, and fire their nuclear-tipped missiles on orders from the national leadership. The Navy therefore argues that the service should be funded from Indian government sources, not as part of the Indian Navy budget.
Supporters of nuclear submarine construction argue that SSNs are necessary to protect the SSBNs. They also point out that while diesel-electric submarines are quiet and hard to detect while submerged, they are easily picked up when they surface to charge their batteries. Furthermore, they move slowly underwater. These considerations allow a single nuclear submarine to do the job of multiple conventional submarines, which give their position away when they surface at regular intervals. Diesel-electric submarine supporters reply that India’s coastal waters are so shallow that SSNs, which typically weigh 4,000-5,000 tonnes, run the risk of scraping the bottom. Conventional submarines, which normally weigh around 1,500 tonnes, are needed for dominating the coastal areas.
This split in the submarine lobby has left the aviation supporters dominant in current Indian Navy policy decision-making. This factor may well see construction of India's indigenous aircraft carriers accelerating at the expense of the submarine fleet.
Ajai Shukla: Making warships happen
Indian money must build Indian capabilities, not pay for British shipbuilding industry to survive
Ajai Shukla / New Delhi September 21, 2010, 0:21 IST
This article is a microcosm that shows clearly why India struggles with major ship-building programmes. Unremitted arrogance allied to blatant disregard for previous (bad) experience with a number of yards yet "magically" they can do all this in India without help or assistance and IF they get any assistance then they'll still blithely ignore most of what they learn 'cos they know better!
What do I think of this article? Not a lot, its just more Neo-fascist BS of the first order, typical mouth that has run off with its brain...........
Do I think the Brits have offered one of the CVF's? Nope, I don't think anyone has been offerd anything, not until the Review is complete........
I was taken aback last week to receive an invitation from BAE Systems, the world’s third-richest arms corporation, for a four-day media tour to the UK. What surprised me was not the invitation. The rate at which India is buying up foreign weaponry, global arms merchants, eager for publicity, would happily pay for our small defence journalist community to globetrot through the year. What was remarkable in the BAE invitation was the company’s proposal to fly us to Glasgow for the launch of a new Royal Navy destroyer and a tour of other warships. Why, I wondered, was British shipbuilding being showcased to India in the absence of a plan to buy a warship from the UK?
A few phone calls later I had my answer! A cash-strapped UK defence ministry, unable to pay for the two aircraft carriers on order with BAE Systems, had offered one of them to New Delhi. In the circumstances, a few news reports in India on “high-quality British shipbuilding” could only be useful.
Given that the Indian Navy already has four aircraft carriers in the pipeline — the lame but functional INS Viraat; the infamous Gorshkov (renamed INS Vikramaditya), being constructed in Russia; a third (so far unnamed) carrier being built in Cochin Shipyard; and another to follow that — Britain’s offer of yet another carrier might be considered wildly optimistic. But desperate times demand desperate measures and the UK is conducting its greatest strategic downsizing since the 1968 retreat from the Suez. David Cameron’s new government has initiated a strategic defence and security review (SDSR), which involves defence spending cuts of 20-30 per cent to bring down military expenditure to below 2 per cent of GDP.
Amongst the several multi-billion pound programmes that seem certain to be pared is the Carrier Vessels Future (CVF) programme: the £5 billion ($8 billion) construction, mainly in British shipyards, of two 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers called the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales. These were ordered before the global economic downturn; the Labour government thought they were essential for the Royal Navy to retain its centuries-old capability to project power across the globe. Even amidst today’s cost-cutting, current defence secretary Liam Fox had hoped to build both carriers, operating only one with the other kept in reserve. But just days ago, BAE boss Ian King revealed that the government had asked BAE Systems to evaluate the cost of cancelling the CVF programme entirely.
With £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) already spent on the CVF, and 4,000 skilled workers busy fabricating the Queen Elizabeth, London knows that an outright cancellation would ruin Britain’s shipbuilding industry. And so, one of the aircraft carriers hopes to wash up on India’s shores.
The government of India must quickly decline the British offer. London could be forgiven for concluding from the fact that four Indian warships are on order from Russian shipyards, and the Indian Navy wants to build more abroad, that Indian shipyards cannot meet the country’s maritime security needs. The truth, however, is that India looks abroad for warships because of the MoD’s inability to streamline planning, sanctions and procedures, and to bring together the skills of the multiple agencies that contribute towards developing and building a warship.
Consider our production facilities. The MoD owns and controls four defence shipyards: Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai (MDL); Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata (GRSE); Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL); and the recently (and misguidedly) acquired Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam (HSL). Then there is Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL), a central PSU, which is building an aircraft carrier for the MoD since none of the MoD shipyards has facilities large enough for this. And, very recently, there is the emergence of state-of-the-art private sector shipyards — L&T, Pipavav and ABG Shipyards — with global-quality facilities.
Also in the production loop is the Directorate General of Naval Design (DGND), which has achieved notable success in the conceptual design of the Indian Navy’s recent warships. Each shipyard, too, has its own design department, which translates the DGND’s conceptual design into engineering drawings of the thousands of components that make up a ship. Then there are Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories, which produce high-technology systems like sonars, radars, torpedoes etc., many of which money cannot buy. The existence of these technology labs is a key attribute of a warship-building country.
Finally, there are the educational institutions that feed into, and off, these agencies: the departments of naval architecture in IITs and universities; research departments in colleges and universities that feed into DRDO laboratories and assist them by taking on research projects.
India has, in varying degrees, every component of this ecosystem. The MoD must bring them together, compensating for one component’s weaknesses by harnessing another’s strengths. Instead, South Block’s proclivity to view each entity individually creates the impression of a shortfall of capacity.
Consider how the MoD is processing India’s second submarine line, allowing two of the six submarines to be built abroad although massive capacities will lie unutilised in L&T and Pipavav (Business Standard has carried a four-article series on this from August 30 to September 2). Here is the MoD’s logic: Pipavav has the facilities but not the experience; L&T has the experience, but not the facilities; MDL has both, but it doesn’t have the capacity!
Astonishingly, South Block considers it preferable to buy submarines from a foreign shipyard, rather than bringing together Indian capabilities that could produce them far cheaper, create jobs and build capacities. The MoD must be stopped from building abroad. India needs a significant navy but it can only afford to build up quickly if the MoD brings together the warship-building eco-system. Indian money must build Indian capabilities, not pay for British shipbuilding industry to survive.
It is interesting though, as that as the specific scenario mentioned on here some time ago
It's an obvious scenario, a bit too obvious.........I have a feeling they'll do almost anything to ensure the two CVF's are kept BUT I do expect the BAY Class LPD's (run by the civvie side) to be reduced to 2 x LPD's, the F35B's replaced by the F35C's, numbers cut by quarter at least, and TRIDENT replacement delayed and potentially replaced by a cruise missile firer. Most everything else will remain including MARS in its revitalised form.............all guess work until October tho.........lots of disinformation around......
Indigenous Aircraft Carrier’s nucleus ready
Published: Thursday, Oct 7, 2010, 1:04 IST
By Suman Sharma | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA
The nucleus of Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC), India’s first ship being built using the modular construction (block-building) method, is ready. The engine and diesel generator rooms and two of the 21 blocks of the 40,000-tonne vessel, designed by the navy’s directorate of naval design, have been completed.
The 260-metre-long and 60-metre-broad gas turbine ship will be powered by four American GE LM 2500 aviation engines which generate 80 MW, enough to attain speed in excess of 28 knots. The vessel, which is expected to be ready by 2013, will have six generators of three mega Watts each.
A source said the blocks being made separately will come up vertically till a certain length. After which a long flight deck, capable of operating Russian MiG-29K, Ka-31 and the indigenous naval light combat aircraft Tejas, will be laid on them.
The keel of the ship being manufactured by Cochin Shipyard was laid in February 2009 by the defence minister, after the government sanctioned its design and construction in January 2003. The vessel will have two take-off runways and a landing strip with three arrester wires. It will have the capacity to carry a maximum of 30 aircraft with sufficient hangars to house them.
IAC’s construction has been planned in two phases. The first phase covers work up to the first launch by the end of this year, while the second phase would cover all remaining work till its delivery for sea trials towards the end of 2013.
Good on 'em for making progress, but I'd be amazed if they meet a 2013 deadline for sea trials. 20 months to complete 10% of the modules does not bode especially well for that.
The original deadline was July 2012 so they are already late. Agree it doesn't look optimistic...........
Originally Posted by JimWH