India’s state-owned shipbuilder, Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) will deliver its second Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarine, the future INS Khanderi, to the Indian Navy by the end of this year, Indian Express reported citing senior MDL officials.
Future INS Khanderi, named after Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji’s island fort Khanderi, is the second of overall six Scorpene-class boats (locally designated as Kalvari-class after the lead ship of the class) to be built by MDL in cooperation with French defence shipbuilding major, Naval Group (formerly DCNS).
She was launched at the MDL shipyard in Mumbai on Jan. 12, 2017 and started her sea trials on June 1 the same year.
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 third submarine of the class, to be named INS Karanj, was launched earlier this year and is currently being readied for sea trials. She is scheduled to be be delivered to the Navy next year.
According to the shipbuilder, the remaining vessels of the class – to be named INS Vela, INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer – will be delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively.
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 Indian Navy has also issued a request-for-information to six foreign manufacturers for a new $8 billion contract to build six diesel-electric attack submarines equipped with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) technology under the Project-75I programme.