Rising to the challenge
As part of the P75 programme, initiated in 2009, DCNS was commissioned to accompany the Indian Navy and its annexe industries in the building of 6 Scorpène®-class submarines, locally. This on-going programme, performed under Transfer of Technology, is a result of India’s dedication to strengthening not only its naval force, but also the relevant industries that surround it. A programme in line with the country’s “Make in India” initiative.
With such an important programme and with such emphasis on the development of local knowledge, DCNS decided to create a local subsidiary, DCNS India, responsible for ‘indigenising’ specific naval expertise. Since 2009, DCNS India has worked towards forging and developing a nationwide network of local suppliers in an attempt to indigenise India’s ship manufacturing industry.
Growing local ecosystems
DCNS India, a subsidiary of DCNS, is committed to ensuring that a certain number of parts and fittings that are typically sourced in France, be as far as possible acquired locally. To do so, DCNS India works closely with a number of Indian companies not only to assist them in standardising their products but also in reaching out to new markets. This DCNS venture was successful to the point where some local companies now possess sufficient expertise and know-how not only to supply the Indian Navy, but also to exports specialised equipment worldwide, including France!
Indian berth place
A measure of DCNS’s success in indigenising India’s ship manufacturing industry can be observed by the simple fact that the very first of the 6 submarines, the Kalvari, was successfully built and equipped in an Indian shipyard. Where most partnerships see DCNS manufacture one, sometimes even two, vessels in their home country before performing a Transfer of Technology and building the remainder of the fleet abroad, India was the first to possess sufficient in-country resources and expertise to lead the way right from the outset. A strong message of intent from an up-and-coming super-power!
Setting the pace
Launched in 2016 and the first of its fleet, the Scorpène®-class Kalvari submarine is a testament to DCNS’s ability to efficiently and swiftly export its significant know-how, but is also a testament to India’s resolute will to become an entirely self-sufficient sovereignty. With the contractual testing and commissioning phase nearing completion, including a maximum depth dive, the Kalvari paves the way for what is set to become a world-class fleet.
The keys to operating
As one might expect, a number of specific training sessions are included under the P75 programme and are aimed at establishing a complete and efficient local workforce ranging from engineers all the way to crewmembers. As agreed with the Indian Navy, DCNS has conducted -and will keep conducting- a significant proportion of these training sessions in country, once more demonstration the Group’s strong versatility and adaptability.
Training sessions on the Platform Management System (PMS) and the Steering Console (SC) have been successfully conducted by DCNS in India with the involvement of 45 DCNS experts from France, and are crucial to ensuring the full-operability of the Indian Navy’s crew members. PMS training allows for the close monitoring of the primary functions such as propulsion, electricity, security and stability whereas the steering console training allows for the full-manoeuvrability of the vessels during operation.
Beyond providing the design, the plans, the technical assistance and performing Transfer of Technology as a whole, DCNS is also responsible for delivering the combat system used on-board the programme’s 6 Scorpène®-class submarines. A combat system entirely designed and built by DCNS and delivered as a turnkey solution. The integration and operation of the combat system calls for specialised training on two fronts: Firstly it requires the training of specialised engineers on how to integrate the combat system on-board the vessel, and secondly it requires specific training of the crew on how to operate the combat system at sea.
Though the majority of the training sessions conducted within the P75 programme were carried out in country, training on the combat system was carried out in DCNS’s training centre in Toulon, France.