The Indian Navy commissioned its newest diesel-electric attack submarine, INS Kalvari (S50) during a ceremony in Mumbai on Dec. 14 after a delay of almost four years.
The first Scorpene-class submarine was dedicated to the nation by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi at the Naval Dockyard, in the presence of the Defence Minister, important dignitaries of the Maharashtra Government and senior Naval Officers.
The vessel has completed its exhaustive sea trials and weapon trials earlier this year. During its trials, Kalvari had test fired German SeaHake torpedo and French Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile (AShM).
The commissioning of INS Kalvari marked a significant milestone in India’s efforts to rebuild its depleted submarine force as China and Pakistan are building up their underwater warfare capabilities.
The Indian Navy’s fleet of diesel-electric subs currently consists of 13 ageing boats (excluding Kalvari) in various states of operational readiness while China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy operates more than 60 submarines including 5 nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).
The second ship of the Scorpene-class, INS Khanderi has begun its sea trials in June and is expected to be commissioned next year.
The Indian Navy has recently issued a request-for-information to six foreign manufacturers for a new $8 billion contract to build six submarines with AIP technology.
INS Kalvari (S50) is the first of the six Kalvari-class (Scorpene-class) diesel-electric hunter-killer submarines designed for the Indian Navy to destroy enemy submarines and warships.
The submarines of the class are designed by French shipbuilder NAVAL Group (earlier DCNS) and being manufactured at Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.
They 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 heavyweight torpedoes (Varunastra), SM39 Exocet submarine-launched anti-ship missiles and naval mines. They have a speed of 37 km/h submerged; can dive to 350 meters and have a surfaced range of 12,000 km. 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.