The Indian Navy is set to induct the second Scorpene submarine INS Khanderi on September 28 in Mumbai in a function presided over by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The remaining four Scorpene submarines are in advanced stages of manufacturing and trials

Giving this information here on Tuesday, Navy Vice Chief Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar also said two other landmark events are planned on September 28. They include launch of first frigate Nilgiri under the Project-17 A and commissioning of the largest dry dock of the Indian Navy.

He said with the launch of these three projects, the Navy will further enhance its reach and combat sustenance.

INS Khanderi was launched into waters in January 2017 and was undergoing extensive sea trials before commissioning. When asked about the delays in inducting the submarine, Kumar said certain amount of delays and learning happen along the way and it is acceptable. He also said all issues of Khanderi were now resolved.

The public sector Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, is manufacturing six Scorpene conventional submarines under technology transfer from Naval Group of France under a 2005 contract worth $3.75 bn. After a series of delays in the project, the first submarine of the class Kalvari joined service in December 2017. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2020.

The cost of the Scorpene project is now about Rs . 25,000 crore. The cost of aircraft carrier dry dock was Rs 1,320 crore while the cost of the seven frigates under P-17A is over Rs. 48,000 crores.

Responding to a query about budgetary constraints of the Navy, the Vice Chief said the service will certainly seek more money." "What we need is more capital allocation of the budget... Share of Navy share was 18% of defence budget in 2012-13 which has come down to 13.6%. We would like it to go back to 18-20%," he said.

Answering questions on the Naval Light Combat Aircraft(LCA), which made its first short arrested landing in Goa last week, Kumar said the Navy is fully in support of LCA project and always made payments on time. He also said the arrested landing is a great achievement and will lead to twin engine advanced medium combat aircraft which the Navy will induct.

After extensive arrested landings on shore, the pilots will graduate to landing on aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. Landing and take- off from a moving aircraft carrier with restriction of space in terms of the landing strip demands exceptional pilot skills and sophisticated aircraft.

The Navy will finally induct a squadron(18-20 Jets) indigenously designed and developed LCA on the aircraft carrier. At present, the service is operating MiG-29s from the carrier. Incidentally, the defence minister will spend a day at sea on board INS Vikramaditya after presiding over the three functions in Mumbai.