India has begun the hunt for six more submarines to add to the six being built at Mazagon Docks under the mammoth Rs 18,798-crore Scorpene project, according to a report in the Times of India.
In the report, India's Chief Admiral is quoted as saying:
"We are now actively looking at the second line of submarines after the Scorpenes. I think the global tender for the six new submarines should be floated in the next financial year (2008-2009)."
The contenders for the six new submarines could include the German HDW and Russian Amur submarines, with the French Scorpenes also being in the reckoning for a repeat order
At present, India has 16 conventional diesel-electric submarines — 10 Russian Kilo-class, four German HDW-class and two very-old Foxtrot-class vessels. The Scorpene project, under which the six submarines will roll out between 2012 and 2017, is crucial since naval projections show India will be left with only nine out of its 16 submarines by the middle of the next decade.