The Indian Navy is going to commission its third ‘Project-75’ Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarine, INS Karanj, next month.
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The submarine has been delivered to the Indian Navy by the state-owned Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL). The acceptance document was signed by its director Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (retired) and Rear Admiral B Sivakumar, Western Naval Command’s chief of staff officer (technical). A total of six submarines in this class are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2023.
Two submarines, the INS Kalvari and INS Kandheri were commissioned in 2017 and 2019 respectively. The fourth submarine in Project 75, the INS Vela, was launched in May 2019 and has already commenced sea trials, while the fifth boat in the class INS Vagir was launched in November 2019.
The Kalvari-Class Submarines
Based on the French Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarines, the Kalvari-class subs are highly advanced boats. This class of subs derives its names from the first submarines inducted into the Indian Navy (much like the new IAC-1 would be re-named Vikrant over the first aircraft carrier of the service).
On October 6, 2005, India had signed a series of contracts for the transfer of technology to construct six submarines with Armaris, for the supply of equipment and services with the Government of France, and for the supply of SM39 Exocet missiles with MBDA. DCN International was designated as the prime contractor in partnership with Navantia, and the entire project was expected to cost Euro 2.4 billion.
According to the sources, the Scorpene-class won the contract because it features AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) and its ability to fire Exocet missiles.
The Kalvari class is capable of offensive operations across the entire spectrum of naval warfare including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, and area surveillance. It has a length of 67.5 m (221 ft), a height of 12.3 m (40 ft), an overall beam of 6.2 m (20 ft), and a draught of 5.8 m (19 ft).
It can reach a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged and a maximum speed of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced. The submarine has a range of 12,000 km at 8 knots (15 km/h) when surfaced.
Each ship is powered by four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines, has 360 battery cells (750 kg each), for power, and has a silent permanently magnetized propulsion motor. The hull, fin, and hydroplanes are designed for minimum underwater resistance and all equipment inside the pressure hull are mounted on shock-absorbing cradles for enhanced stealth.
This year, the Indian Navy will also commission its second nuclear-powered attack submarine INS Arighat, capable of launching nuclear-capable Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs).