New India submarine enters water

Employees stand in front of the Indian Navy"s first Scorpene submarine before being undocked from Mazagon Docks Ltd, a naval vessel ship-building yard, in Mumbai April 6, 2015. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The submarines will be inducted into the navy in 2018

The first Scorpene submarine built at a shipyard in India's western city of Mumbai for the Indian navy has been lowered into the water for sea trials.

The vehicle is one of the six French-designed diesel-powered submarines being built at the dockyard.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said one Scorpene submarine "will be delivered every nine months" and all will be inducted into the navy by 2018.

The submarines are part of moves aimed at modernising India's armed forces.

India's navy has 13 ageing submarines powered by diesel and electricity, and only half of them are operational at any given time because of maintenance work.

India is also building a new class of nuclear-powered boats intended to carry nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

India's naval build-up has been gaining pace in recent years.

Correspondents say is both a sign of widening maritime horizons and a response to the potential threat posed by the Chinese navy's expansion.

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