Confirming this to the Financial Express Online, a senior Indian Navy officer said “The commissioning of the submarine will be in the presence of the Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh. The ceremony will be in Mumbai. The `Karanj’ has completed all its sea trials and other tests and has all the armaments.”
All the six `Scorpene’ class submarines will be delivered by the Mumbai based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), by the end of 2022. These submarines are being built using technology shared by the French shipbuilding company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS). The construction of the `Karanj’ submarine at the MDL has been done faster in comparison to the previous two.
What is missing from these submarines is the most critical technology – Air Independent Propulsion (AIP). So far the Indian Navy has already commissioned two submarines including INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi and none of them have the AIP.
As has been reported by the Financial Express Online earlier, the launch of `Karanj’ was in January 2018, and after completing all its trials at sea was handed over to the Indian Navy recently.
What is Kalvari Class?
The design of Kalvari class of submarines is based on the French Scorpene class of submarines. They have been designed by the French shipbuilding company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) and Spanish state owned entity Navantia. They have Diesel Electric transmission systems. Designed to target and sink adversary naval boats, these submarines are mainly attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ type.
The submarines of this class are around 220 feet long. Have a height of 40 feet and can reach the highest speed of 11 knots when surfaced and 20 knots when submerged.
Know more about the `Kalvari’ class submarine
These submarines have been designed for missions including intelligence gathering; anti-submarine warfare (ASW); area surveillance; anti-submarine warfare (ASW); mine laying operation; and anti-surface warfare (ASuW).
The Naval Group of France has been providing all its expertise and tools needed in this programme. It has offered to help in fitting the AIP when it will be required in 2023. The first Scorpene, Kulvari, will be coming up in for a refit in 2023 and the Navy is keen to get the AIP installed at that time. The submarine was commissioned in 2018.
Why is AIP critical?
The AIP helps a non-nuclear submarine to operate for a longer period of time without access to surface oxygen.
Maintenance of the submarines
Taking into account Indian Navy’s experience of maintaining and operating different classes of submarines including EKM and SSK, the Naval Group has offered to assist the navy in the best adapted manner to ensure optimized operability and sea time of P75 submarines.
As reported by Financial Express Online in 2020, on the sidelines of the DefExpo in Lucknow, Nicolas de La Villemarque, Vice President India, Asia and Pacific of Naval Group had told the media-persons that the Naval Group is in discussions with all the stake holders involved in the project for fitting the AIP modules on all Scorpene class subs beginning 2023.
Minor design changes need to be carried out for the fitment of the AIP and for this MDL, Naval Group of France, the Indian Navy and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have been in discussions.