Scorpene, the conventional powered submarine

Q.  What is Scorpene?
- Published on 26 Aug 16

a. Conventional powered nuclear warhead
b. Conventional powered fighter jet
c. Conventional powered ship
d. Conventional powered submarine

ANSWER: Conventional powered submarine
Scorpene is a conventional powered submarine weighing 1500 tonnes. It can reach depths of 300m and was built by DCNS France.
  • In October 2005 India signed a deal of USD 3.75 billion to get six submarines built at the Mazgaon Dock Limited in Mumbai with the transfer of technology.
  • Additional deals were signed by the Indian company with Thales and MBDA for systems and weapons.
  • Following repeated delays over 4 years, the first submarine began sea trials in May 2016
  • Remaining 5 submarines are at various stages of construction
  • Submarine is the quietest and most potent military platform and influences second strike capabilities
  • Every military platform shows up on the radar by which adversaries can be tracked; so stealth technologies like Scorpene that are virtually undetectable command a premium
  • As submarines operate under the water, they use sonar or sonic waves for communication and detection
  • An Australian newspaper has leaked 22,400 pages of documents from the DCNS manual detailing technical specifications of the submarine
  • This includes combat and stealth capabilities, what frequencies they gather intelligence it, their diving depths range, endurance and level of noise they make at numerous speeds
  • It also discloses magnetic, electromagnetic and infra red data as well as specifications of the submarine torpedo launch system and the combat system.
  • The question remains whether such information leaking poses a danger to stealth capabilities of the submarine
  • The manufacturer’s technical manual has been revealed on public domain and the operation and tactical procedures to be used once the submarine is inducted could be the only thing unique about it now
  • It is possible submarines under construction could be tweaked to change their signatures
  • Government of India has said the reported leak of documents have been examined and do not pose a security compromise as vital parameters have been concealed
  • Indian Navy has also taken up the matter with the DG Armament of the French government and investigate the matter
  • An internal audit of procedure to rule out security compromise is also being undertaken
  • Indian Navy is also conducting a detailed potential impact, which is being taken by a high level of committee constituted by MoD.

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