Indian Navy Commissions Its Second Scorpene-Class Submarine, INS Khanderi

The Indian Navy commissioned its second Scorpene/Kalvari-class diesel-electric attack submarine, INS Khanderi, during a ceremony held in Mumbai on Sept. 28.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arvind Sawant, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, CMD of MDL Commodore Rakesh Anand (IN Retd.) and several other dignitaries.

INS Khanderi was launched at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) shipyard in Mumbai on Jan. 12, 2017 and started her sea trials on June 1 the same year. She was delivered to the Navy at an event held in Mumbai on Sept. 19 this year.

Khanderi is named after the wide snouted Sawfish, a deadly sea predator found in the Indian Ocean, and Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji’s island fort Khanderi. This is the second Indian Navy submarine to be named Khanderi: the first submarine Khanderi was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 6, 1968 and decommissioned on October 18, 1989 after more than 20 years of service to the nation.

The submarine is the second of overall six Scorpene-class boats (locally designated as Kalvari-class after the lead ship of the class, INS Kalvari) being built by India’s state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in cooperation with French defence shipbuilding major, Naval Group (formerly called DCNS).

Kalvari-class diesel-electric hunter-killer submarines (SSK) have a displacement of 1,550 tons and a maximum submerged speed of 37 km/h. The vessel can dive to 350 meters and have a surfaced range of 12,000 km.

They are armed with indigenously-developed Varunastra heavyweight torpedoes, French MBDA SM39 Exocet submarine-launched anti-ship missiles (AShM) and naval mines. The Exocet SM39 is a sea-skimming, subsonic, solid-fueled anti-ship missile with an approximate operational range of 50-70 kilometres depending on the variant.

The first submarine of the class, is INS Kalvari was commissioned into the Indian Navy fleet during a ceremony in Mumbai on Dec. 14 last year after a delay of almost four years.

The construction of third submarine, to be named INS Karanj, was started on January 31, 2018, and she was launched last yearThe boat is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials and is scheduled to be be delivered to the Navy later this year.

The fourth submarine, to be named INS Vela, was launched on May 6 this year and is currently being prepared for sea trials with an expected delivery to the Navy next year. According to the shipbuilder, the remaining two submarines – to be named INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer – are in various stages of outfitting and will be delivered in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

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