11:41 GMT +318 August 2019
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    The INS Kalvari, one of the six Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines, is set afloat at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India (File)

    Indian Vice Admiral to Visit French Underwater Weapons Facility

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    With the proposed purchase of three more Scorpene-class submarines under study, a senior Indian Navy officer will visit the French Navy’s nuclear submarine facility and underwater weapon facility this week. The visit coincides with the 'Varuna' joint naval exercise with the French.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) The destroyer INS Mumbai along with Trishul and Aditya are taking part in the six-day naval exercise.

    “Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, is scheduled to visit the French frigate FNS Auvergne, a French nuclear submarine unit, as well as an Underwater Weapons Facility. He will also call on senior officials in France, including Vice Admiral Charles-Henri du Che, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Sea Area,” Indian Navy spokesperson Captain DK Sharma said.

    Last week, Vice Admiral DM Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, said the Navy is looking at all options, including a government to government deal or an extension of the Scorpene-class line.

    “Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in conjunction with DCNS, France have approached Indian Navy for constructing an upgraded version of the Scorpene-class submarines at MDL,” Subhash Bhamre, India’s Minister of State for Defense, told the Indian parliament earlier this month.

    Scorpene-class submarines under Project-75 are under construction at MDL. The Indian Navy is expected to discuss the cost of an upgraded version of the Scorpene-class submarine. Last year in September, thousands of pages related to the Indian Scorpene-class submarine had been leaked and some crucial technical specifications were compromised.

    The Varuna series of exercises began in 2000 and have grown into an institutionalized form of interaction between the two navies. The last exercise was held off the coast of India.

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    submarine, naval exercises, France, India
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