Indian Navy receives third Kalvari class submarine

India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has handed over to the Indian Navy (IN) the third of six Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) built under license for the service at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

An acceptance document for the 67.6 m longboat, which is named Karanj, was signed on 15 February by MDL and Rear Admiral B Sivakumar of the IN’s Western Naval Command. Senior IN officials told Janes the following day that the SSK, which was launched in late January 2018, is likely to be commissioned in the first half of March.

INS Kalvari is the first submarine in the P75 Scorpene Class
INS Kalvari is the first submarine in the P75 Scorpene Class

The submarine, which is part of the IN’s INR235.62 billion (USD3.24 billion) Project 75 programme, is expected to join INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi, which were commissioned in December 2017 and September 2019. The fourth and fifth submarines of the class, Vela and Vagir, were launched in May 2019 and November 2020, and are expected to enter service in 2022.

Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious missions like anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare as well as intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc. They are designed to operate in all theatres, with means provided to ensure interoperability.

The state-of-the-art technology utilised for the construction of Scorpene class submarines has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized shape, and the ability to launch an attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons. The attack can be mounted with both torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles, at the same time as underwater or on the surface.

The stealth of this strong platform is enhanced by the special attention given to various signatures. These stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines.

INS khanderi second submarine of the P75 Scorpene Class
INS khanderi second submarine of the P75 Scorpene Class

The sixth and final submarine, Vagsheer, is in an advanced stage of construction and is likely to be launched in 2021. All six Kalvari-class boats are expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023, according to IN sources.

According to official documents, the Indian Navy has two ongoing conventional submarine programs, with a third one on the way.

Phase I – P-75

Six submarines of Scorpene class (P-75) are to be constructed at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai. Two Submarines of the project namely INS Kalvari and Khanderi have been commissioned in December 2017 and September 2019 respectively. The balance submarines are likely to be inducted every nine months. The last submarine is likely to be delivered in June 2022.

Phase I – P-75(I)

Six submarines are to be constructed under P-75(I) under the Strategic Partnership model promulgated by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on 31 May 2017. AoN for the case has been accorded by DAC on 27 February 2019. A multidisciplinary Empowered Project Committee (EPC) has been constituted by MoD on 15 February 2019 to steer the project from ‘EoI issuance’ to ‘Contract Conclusion’. The Request for Expression of Interest (REoI) for shortlisting of SPs and Foreign, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) was issued on 20 June 2019 and 02 July 2019 respectively. The response of SPs have been received on 11 September 2019. The response of Foreign OEMs have been received on 24 September 2019. The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the case would be issued in mid-2020. The induction of the submarines would be between 2027-2032.

Phase II

Twelve submarines of an indigenous design are envisaged to be constructed in India in this phase with the experience gained and technology absorbed from construction of submarines under Phase I.

About Scorpène type submarine

khanderi submarine with officials onboard

Scorpène is the conventional submarine designed by Naval Group for the export market. It demonstrates both Naval Group’s ability to deliver best in class submarines and to conduct successful transfers of technology. Today 14 Scorpène submarines are in operational service or being built, for the Chilean Navy (2 units), the Malaysian Navy (2 units), the Indian Navy (6 units) and the Brazilian Navy (4 units).

The Scorpène design is adapted to fit each navy’s specific requirements. Thus, the Brazilian Scorpène is slightly longer to carry a larger crew, almost double the patrol range, and be able to cover greater distances.

Scorpène is ideally suited for action and operational effectiveness. Robust and enduring, it’s an ocean-going submarine also designed for shallow waters operations. Multipurpose, it fulfils the entire scope of missions such as anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, special operations, offensive minelaying and intelligence gathering. Integrating improvements from French Barracuda-Class fast-attack submarine, Scorpène has cutting-edge capabilities.

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