Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to commission INS Kalvari, the first of six Scorpene submarines being built in India by Mazagon Dock in collaboration with French shipbuilder Naval Group, Business Standard has reported.
According to the report, INS Kalvari will likely be handed over to the Indian Navy by September-end. It will reportedly be the stealthiest diesel-electric attack boat in service and will take the number of submarines in the Indian Navy to 14. 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 Indian Navy was supposed to get all six submarines between 2012 and 2015, but delays have pushed induction five years behind schedule. INS Khanderi, the second Scorpene submarine, was launched in Mumbai in January 2017. It is currently undergoing trials and will likely be delivered in March 2018. The remaining four boats will be delivered at nine-month intervals.
The submarines will be commissioned without their 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 Systemi Subacquei, a subsidiary of Italian arms manufacturer Finmeccanica, due to corruption allegations involving Finmeccanica subsidiary AgustaWestland.