This launch announcement sounds strange in the context of Indian Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba stating that India and France will set up a joint committee to consider changes if any of the configurations have been compromised in the 22,400 pages submarine data leak in an Australian newspaper last August.
"Six submarines are being built in collaboration with DCNS of France. The first submarine (Kalvari) is completing its sea trials and will be commissioned shortly into the Indian Navy," said a statement by the Indian Navy. The submarines are a part of the $3.46 bn technology transfer contract signed in 2005. The project has been delayed by four years over technology transfer issues.
But the Indian government is not happy with the content of indigenization. "It is not up to expectations. The indigenization in Scorpene class is around 30-40 percent, which is too little," Manohar Parrikar had said in November last year during a public address.
"Between now and December 2017, the second submarine will undergo rigorous trials and tests, both in harbor and at sea, while on surface and whilst dived. Thereafter she would be commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Khanderi. The other four submarines will follow at intervals of nine months," read the release issued by shipbuilder MDL.
Apart from the Navy Chief's statement about a joint committee, the Indian government is yet to receive the final probe report. The Navy's concern seems to be more on making up for the four-year delay in adding to its force levels by commissioning the remaining four submarines as per the revised schedule rather than wait for the probe report.