Defence

INS Kalvari Commissioned: All You Need To Know About Navy’s First Conventional Submarine In 17 Years

INS Kalvari during sea trials. (Livefist/Twitter)

INS Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines being built under Project-75, was commissioned into the Indian Navy today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is the first conventional submarine to be inducted in over 17 years.

The submarine is named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean. The first Kalvari, commissioned on 8 December 1967, was the first submarine of the Indian Navy. It was decommissioned on 31 May 1996, after nearly three decades of service.

The new INS Kalvari will reportedly be the stealthiest diesel-electric attack boat in service and will take the number of submarines in the Indian Navy to 15.

The submarines, designed by France's Naval Group, are being built by Mazagon Dock in Mumbai. The Indian Navy was supposed to get all the six submarines between 2012 and 2015, but delays have pushed induction over five years behind schedule.

INS Khanderi, the second Scorpene submarine, was launched in Mumbai in January this year. It is currently undergoing sea trials and will likely be delivered to the Navy in March 2018. The remaining four Scorpene submarines will be delivered to the Indian Navy at nine-month intervals and are expected to be in service by 2020.

INS Kalvari was reportedly be commissioned without its primary weapon system, the Black Shark torpedo. Last June, the Defence Ministry had deferred a $200-million deal for the Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes, built by Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei, a subsidiary of Italian arms manufacturer Finmeccanica, due to corruption allegations involving another Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland.

According to Mazagon Dock officials, INS Kalvari underwent around 120 days of extensive sea trials for various equipment.

The technology employed in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons, the officials said.

Other countries that operate Scorpene-class submarines include Chile, Brazil and Malaysia. Norway is expected to sign a contract with France for four new Scorpene-class submarines before the end of 2019.

India’s version of the Scorpene-class reportedly stretches 61.7 meters and displaces over 1,500 tons. According to reports, the Indian version has six 533-millimetre torpedo tubes that can be armed with anti-ship torpedoes and missiles. The boat will be equipped with is the SM.39 Exocet underwater-launched anti-ship missile and will have a number of different missions, including antisubmarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence gathering and mine laying.

The induction of INS Kalvari comes as a relief for the Navy, which has been struggling to maintain adequate numbers in its conventional submarine fleet. In view of increasing Chinese activity in the Indian Ocean, the Navy needs at least 24 to 26 submarines to effectively monitor the region.

The induction of INS Kalvari into the Navy comes just days after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched India’s second nuclear submarine, the Arighat, in a low-key ceremony in Visakhapatnam.

Defence Minister Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, and top defence officials attended INS Kalvari’s commissioning ceremony.

Commissioning the boat, Prime Minister Modi said INS Kalvari is an excellent example of 'Make in India' and will boost the Navy's might.

I would like to congratulate everyone associated with this submarine," the Prime Minister said. He also thanked France for its co-operation.

(With inputs from PTI)

Also Read: Wrapped In Secrecy: New Report Reveals India’s Push For Building A Nuclear Submarine Fleet

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