Second Scorpene-class submarine, INS Khanderi will get commissioned in the Indian Navy by Sepetember end. Sources have confirmed that on Sept 28, in the presence of defense minister Rajnath Singh the submarine which has completed all necessary acceptance trials successfully will be commissioned. It will be part of the Western Naval Command in Mumbai. Singh will also launch the first ship of the Shivalik Class which is follow on Project 17A at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai the same day.
After returning from Paris, the minister will head to Mumbai for the ceremony. The Naval chief Admiral Karambir Singh and other top naval officers will be present. In December 2017, the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the first Scorpene-class submarine was commissioned.
The third Scorpene-class submarine INS Karanj is in the advanced stages of its trials and if it clears all trials successfully it will be able to join the Indian Naal fleet end of this year or early next year.
Earlier this year in May, the fourth submarine which is under construction at MDL and named `Vela’ had touched waters after completing its outfittings. And, the last two of the Scorpene-class – Vagir and Vagsheer submarines are under construction at the MDL.
The $ 3 billion contract for building these Scorpene-class submarines in India was signed in 2006 between the French company Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, and MDL under Indian Navy’s Project-75.
Urgent need for submarines
Under the 30-year submarine building plan which was approved by the government in 1999, the Indian Navy needs at least 25 submarines. The strength has gone down from 21 to just 15 conventional submarines. Also, the Indian navy has one indigenous Arihant-class nuclear submarine and one Akula-class submarine which has been leased from Russia.
According to the 30-year plan there are six Scorpene submarines to be procured under the Project-75; additional six to be built under Project-75 India, and the remaining 12 to be built indigenously.
What is a Scorpene-class submarine?
The state-of-the-art submarine has superior stealth. It has the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapon.
It has the capability to be launched in anti-surface warfare, and anti-submarine warfare.
It can be used for intelligence gathering, mine laying, and area surveillance.
And to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force.
It is a lethal platform and this class of submarine marks a generational shift in operations.
It is 66-meter long and is made up of a special kind of high-tensile steel.
This special steel ensures that the warship can withstand high yield stress. And this allows it to dive deeper.
The submarine has the capability to operate at a depth of 300 meters underwater and travel 1,020 km underwater.
It has the provision to carry 18 torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles underwater. And also from the surface.