Naval Group inaugurated a Support & Repair facility for Kalvari class submarines in Karwar, Karnataka, aligning with 'Make in India' initiative

France Naval Group Naval Group reinforces India's maritime prowess with additional submarine repair facility

Naval Group of France has once again reiterated its commitment to bolster India's maritime capabilities with the establishment of a Support & Repair facility for Kalvari class submarines at the Shirwada Industrial area in Karwar (Karnataka Naval Area) on September 13. This facility was inaugurated by Rear Admiral KM Ramakrishnan, Flag Officer Commanding Karwar, showcasing a collaborative effort that aligns with the 'Make in India' initiative.

In a statement released on July 16, Naval Group expressed its intent for the extended partnership between India and France for ‘next generation’ future submarine projects. This announcement comes after the success of the first Scorpene submarine construction program (P75 – Kalvari class), an example of indigenous production, and the exchange of naval expertise between the two nations.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been formally inked between Mazagon Dockyard Ltd and Naval Group for the construction of three additional submarines under the P75 program. This development, as per the Ministry of Defence, is a milestone which marks a further step in fortifying the naval capabilities of India.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, lauded the declarations made during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic participation in the French National Day. He said, "We welcome the declarations made during the Indian Prime Minister's historic participation in the French National Day, to continue and further strengthen our 15-year submarine building cooperation, which is a major element of the Indo-French strategic partnership developed over the past decades." Pommellet further stated, "Naval Group and its partners will be fully mobilised to meet the expectations of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited and the Indian industry to fulfil the needs of the Indian Navy."

As per the official statement from the Naval Group, the extension of this Indo-French partnership not only underscores the trust vested by the Indian Navy in established industrial cooperation but also underscores the success achieved in technology transfer under the P27 agreement. Naval Group expressed gratitude to both Indian and French authorities for their commitment to furthering this crucial collaboration.

Furthermore, the 'Make In India' policy has remained at the heart of the P75 program, which depicts India's drive towards self-reliance in naval defence technologies. The Naval Group statement further adds, this initiative has been pivotal in equipping the Indian Navy with modern and cutting-edge capabilities.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France, both leaders adopted 'Horizon 2047: 25th Anniversary of the India-France Strategic Partnership, Towards A Century of India-France Relations'. The joint statement of both the governments underscored India and France's readiness to embark on even more ambitious projects aimed at enhancing the performance of the Indian submarine fleet.

This move will not only strengthen the bilateral ties between India and France but is slated to reinforce India's resolve to bolster its maritime defence capabilities through strategic collaborations and indigenous production in the wake of the growing might of the Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean region and Pakistan’s active bid to acquire more conventional Chinese submarines.