Delivery of the Indian Navy's three most modern destroyers is delayed by nearly three years due to a hold-up on the part of foreign vendors to supply vital arms and equipment for these warships.
As a result, the ships that were to come to the navy between July 2014 and 2018 under project 15B, would now be delivered by dockyard between 2021 and 2022, defence ministry officials said.
The first two ships, to be named INS Visakhapatnam and INS Mormugao on commissioning, were released into the water in April 2015 and September 2016, respectively.
Defence ministry and navy officials informed lawmakers that procurement of arms and sensors for these ships have been delayed.
According to the navy's Rs 29,300 crore contract with the Mazgaon dockyard, the four ships under Project 15B were to be delivered between 2014 and 2018. The first three vessels were to be delivered in 2018, 2020 and 2022.
Late delivery of long-range surface to air missile from Israel and its radar (MFSTAR) also contributed to the deferment of the final delivery of the Visakhapatnam and Mormugao to the navy.
In May, the Indian Navy for the first time fired a Barak-8 missile from INS Kochi - one of its new destroyers. It was followed by another firing in November.
With a delay at the supply end, the defence ministry decided to indigenously manufacture some of the items like the sonar system developed by DRDO and the ship surveillance radar, which would be manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited.
A decision has also been taken to manufacture the main gun of these ships in India, after Italian company Oto Melara was barred from supplying guns to the navy because of the VVIP helicopter scam that involved its parent company Finmeccanica.