Indian Navy Gets Third Scorpene Submarine; To Be Commissioned Into Service As INS Karanj

by Swarajya Staff - Feb 15, 2021 06:52 PM +05:30 IST
Indian Navy Gets Third Scorpene Submarine; To Be Commissioned Into Service As INS KaranjIndia’s third Scorpene-class submarine, Karanj, launched at Mazagon Dock, Mumbai.(@indiannavy/Twitter)
  • Third Scorpene-class submarine to be commissioned into the Indian Navy soon.

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited has delivered the third Scorpene-class (Kalvari-class) submarine to the Indian Navy, reports say.

Built in India in collaboration with the Naval Group of France, the third Scorpene submarine will be inducted into service as INS Karanj.

The 67.5 metres long Scorpenes, considered to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarines in service around the world currently, displace around 1,700 tonnes when submerged. The boats, which have an endurance of around 45 days, are armed with heavyweight torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and mines.

The Indian Navy has contracted for six of these submarines.

Two submarines of this class — INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi — are already in service with the Navy. The fourth of the class — INS Vela — is currently undergoing trials at sea, and will be inducted this year. The fifth boat of the class, INS Vagir, was launched in November 2020 and will be commissioned in 2022. The sixth, named ‘Vagsheer’ after a Vela-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy commissioned in 1973, is currently under construction.

According to the Naval Group, the submarine of this class have superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels and hydrodynamically optimised shape.

The submarines are not equipped with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP), which gives diesel-electric/conventional submarines the ability to remain under water for relatively longer periods. Reports say the submarines will be equipped with AIP, indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The boats will be fitted with the system when undergoing their first 'mid-life refit' starting 2024-25.

The deal for six Scorpene submarines was signed in 2005 and the first submarine of the class was to be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2012. However, inordinate delays and teething problems pushed the induction schedule off track.

According to the reports, the submarines are likely to be commissioned without their primary weapon system, the Black Shark torpedo. The government had recently deferred a $200-million deal for Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes, built by Whitehead Alenia Systemi Subacquei, a subsidiary of Italian manufacturer Finmeccanica, due to corruption allegations on subsidiary AgustaWestland.

The Indian Navy, experts say, needs more submarines to deal with the ever-growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. India is currently looking to finalise an $8 billion contract to build six advanced conventional submarines with air-independent propulsion technology under Project 75(I).

India is also working on a number of projects to build an indigenous fleet of nuclear submarines. (Also Read: Wrapped In Secrecy: New Report Reveals India’s Push For Building A Nuclear Submarine Fleet)

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