Scorpène-class submarine

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Tunku Abdul Rahman at Port Klang, September 2009
Royal Malaysian Navy's Scorpéne-class submarine KD Tunku Abdul Rahman
Class overview
Name: Scorpène class
Preceded by: Agosta class
Cost: $450 million
Building: 4
Planned: 19
Completed: 4
Cancelled: 4
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Submarine
  • 1,565 tonnes (1,725 short tons) (CM-2000)
  • 1,870 tonnes (2,060 short tons) (AM-2000)
  • 2,000 tonnes (2,200 short tons) (S-BR)[1]
  • 61.7 m (202 ft) (CM-2000)
  • 70 m (230 ft) (AM-2000)
  • 75 metres (246 ft) (S-BR)[1]
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft)
Draught: 5.4 m (18 ft)
Draft: 5.8 m (19 ft)
  • 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) (submerged)
  • 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) (surfaced)
  • 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) (surfaced)
  • 550 nmi (1,020 km; 630 mi) at 5 kn (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) (submerged)
  • 40 days (compact)
  • 50 days (normal)
  • 50+21 days (AIP)
Test depth: >350 metres (1,150 ft)[2]
Complement: 31
Armament: 6 x 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes for 18 Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, 30 mines in place of torpedoes

The Scorpène-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines jointly developed by the French DCN and the Spanish company Navantia and now by DCNS. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP).

The Chilean Navy ordered two Scorpène-class boats, which replaced two Oberon-class submarines retired by the Chilean Navy. In 2005, the Indian Navy ordered six Scorpène-class; all the Indian boats will be built in India, at Mazagon Dock and elsewhere, and the last two are to be fitted with an Indian Fuel cell AIP module.[3] For the follow-on requirement of six submarines, DCNS plans to offer a larger version of the submarine to the Indian Navy.[4] In 2008, the Brazilian Navy ordered four Scorpènes.

The Chilean Scorpène class O'Higgins and Carrera were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2009, the Royal Malaysian Navy commissioned Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak.

Scorpène characteristics[edit]

The Scorpène class of ships has four subtypes:[5] the CM-2000 conventional diesel-electric version, the AM-2000 AIP derivative, the downsized CA-2000 coastal submarine, and the enlarged S-BR for the Brazilian Navy without AIP.[6]

The Chilean and Malaysian boats are fitted with the TSM 2233 Mk 2 sonar. The class can also be fitted with an 'S-Cube' sonar suite from Thales.[7]

Air-independent power[edit]

The French Module d'Energie Sous-Marine Autonome (MESMA) system is being offered by the French shipyard DCN for the Scorpène-class submarines. It is essentially a modified version of their nuclear propulsion system with heat being generated by ethanol and oxygen. A conventional turbine power plant powered by steam generated from the combustion of ethanol and stored oxygen at a pressure of 60 atmospheres. This pressure-firing allows exhaust carbon dioxide to be expelled overboard at any depth without an exhaust compressor.

Each MESMA system costs around $50–60 million. As installed on the Scorpènes, it requires adding a new 8.3 metres (27 ft), 305 tonne hull section to the submarines, and results in a submarine able to operate for greater than 21 days under water, depending on variables such as speed.[citation needed]

Some of the submarines built for the Indian Navy will have Phosphoric acid fuel cell powered AIP modules designed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory of Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation.[8][9]

DCNS also is developing a second-generation hydrogen fuel cell AIP modules for future Scorpène models.



In 2003, the Spanish government ordered four Scorpène AIP submarines worth €1,756 million.[10] However, the order for the Spanish navy was canceled and four S-80-class submarines have been ordered, instead. This has caused conflicts and controversies between DCNS and Navantia, as the latter is still involved in the construction of the submarines sold to India, Malaysia, and Chile, while the S-80 is offered on the export market.[11] As an answer to the competition from the S-80, DCNS designed its own enhanced version of the Scorpène called the Marlin class, but little is known about this design and the Scorpène is still offered by France on the export market.


In 2005, India chose the Scorpène design; purchasing six submarines for US$3 billion ($500 million per boat). These submarines are to be manufactured under a technology transfer agreement by the state-owned Mazagon Docks in Mumbai and delivered between 2012 and 2016,[12] however the project is running four years behind schedule.[13] Construction started on 23 May 2009.[7] India plans to incorporate the DRDO-developed air independent propulsion (AIP) system onto the last two submarines being built and also to equip the P75I submarines, of which the DCNS is participating in the tender process.[14] It was reported in November 2014, that the DRDO-developed AIP system for the last two Scorpène submarines for the Indian Navy has been developed and is ready for testing in February 2015.[15] The first Scorpène submarine, named INS Kalvari, was undocked for the purpose of starting sea trials in April 2015 and will be delivered in September 2016.[12]


In 2009, Brazil purchased four enlarged Scorpènes for US$9.9 billion with a technology transfer agreement and a second agreement to develop a French/Brazilian nuclear-powered submarine. The hull of the first S-BR (S35) was laid down at Cherbourg on 27 May 2010 and is to be jumboized at Brazilian Navy Shipyard in Sepetiba in late 2012.[1] The latter three submarines will be entirely built there and are planned to be commissioned in 2018, 2020, and 2021. The nuclear-powered submarine could be a variant of the Scorpène class (which would make it similar in concept to the Rubis-class submarine) or one of the more powerful Barracuda class.[16]


On 1 March 2011, the Naval Shipyard Gdynia of Poland and DCNS offered a license to build a yet undisclosed number of modified Scorpène class, and the Scorpène design is competing with that of the German Type 214 submarine.[17]


Pennant no. Name Country Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
SS-23 O'Higgins  Chile 18 November 1999 1 November 2003 8 September 2005 Talcahuano
SS-22 Carrera  Chile November 2000 24 November 2004 20 July 2006 Talcahuano
KD Tunku Abdul Rahman  Malaysia 25 April 2004 23 October 2007 January 2009 Sepanggar
KD Tun Abdul Razak  Malaysia 25 April 2005 October, 2008 December, 2009 Sepanggar
S50 INS Kalvari  India 1 April 2009 06 April 2015 [18] September 2016 Vishakhapatnam / Mumbai
S51 INS Khanderi  India October 2011 April 2016 Expected in 2017 Vishakhapatnam / Mumbai
S52  India December 2012 October 2016 Expected in 2018 Vishakhapatnam / Mumbai
S53  India TBD Expected in 2019 Vishakhapatnam / Mumbai
S54  India TBD Expected in 2020 Vishakhapatnam / Mumbai
S55  India TBD Expected in August 2021 [19] Vishakhapatnam / Mumbai
S40 Riachuelo  Brazil 27 May 2010 Expected in mid-2018 Itaguaí
S41 Humaitá  Brazil 1 September 2013 Expected in 2016 Itaguaí
S42 Tonelero  Brazil TBD TBD Itaguaí
S43 Angostura  Brazil TBD TBD Itaguaí


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Nicolas von Kospot (2 June 2010). "First Steel Cut for Brazilian Submarine Programme". Retrieved 7 June 2010. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Scorpene® 1000". DCNS. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Anandan, S. (30 December 2010). "DRDO working on cutting submarine vulnerability". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  4. ^ France to offer bigger Scorpenes for $5 billion Indian submarine order but Indian not shown interest with DCNS because project delayed 5 to 6 years this is effected to Indian Navy [dead link]
  5. ^ "The Market for Submarines" (PDF). Forecast International. August 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2010. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Novas pistas sobre o ‘S-BR’, o novo submarino convencional Brasileiro". 6 May 2010. Retrieved 13 May 2010. 
  7. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "What's New". Defence Research & Development Organization, India. 3 August 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Indian-built Scorpene to carry critical DRDO system". The Hindu. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Scorpene Basic-AIP". Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  11. ^ "Scorpène : DCNS et Navantia en instance de divorce". Mer et Marine. Retrieved 2011-12-28. [dead link]
  12. ^ a b N, Ganesh (7 April 2015). "India's first Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari launched for sea trials". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  13. ^ Pandit, Rajat (28 August 2014). "Defence minister Arun Jaitley reviews delayed Scorpene submarine project". Times of India. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  14. ^ Anandan, S. (25 March 2014). "DRDO developing onboard equipment monitoring system for submarines". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Indian-built Scorpene to carry critical DRDO system (Air Independent Propulsion)". 3 November 2014. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Novos submarinos da MB: Senado aprova o empréstimo de 4,32 bilhões de euros" (in Portuguese). 2 September 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  17. ^ Sowula, Sławomir (March 2011). "Gdyńska stocznia chce budować okręty podwodne". Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish) (2011-03-03). Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  18. ^ "New India submarine enters water". BBC News. 6 April 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  19. ^ Индия одновременно строит шесть подводных лодок типа Scorpene. (in Russian). 5 May 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 

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