India’s state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) delivered the second Scorpene/Kalvari-class diesel-electric attack submarine, INS Khanderi, to the Indian Navy at an event held in Mumbai on Sept. 19.
The acceptance document was signed by Cmde Rakesh Anand, Chairman an Managing Director of MDL and RAdm B Sivakumar, Chief of Staff Officer (Tech) of Navy’s Western Naval Command in the presence of MDL Directors and Navy personnel at MDL.
The future 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 is expected to be commissioned into the Navy fleet later this month.
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) to be built by MDL in cooperation with French defence shipbuilding major, Naval Group (formerly called DCNS).
MDL is presently also carrying out the medium refit and life certification of INS Shishumar (S44), the lead vessel of the Shishumar class (variant of German Type 209 class) of diesel-electric submarines of the Indian Navy.
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 year. The 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.