The First 'Make in India' Scorpene Commissioned

Prime Minister said that it is also certain that the road to development in the 21st century goes through the Indian Ocean. That is why the Indian Ocean has a special place in the policies of the Government. The Prime Minister said this vision can be understood through the acronym SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

Issue: 6 / 2017By Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd)Photo(s): By PIB
Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioning INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy in Mumbai on December 14, 2017. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Minister of State for Defence, Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre and the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba are also seen along with other dignitaries.

Six days after comemorating the Golden Jubilee of the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy, the first ‘Make in India’ Scorpene diesel-electric submarine, INS Kalvari was commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on Thursday, December 14, 2017. The event will be marked as a red-letter day in the annals of Indian Navy’s relentless pursuit of self-reliance through indigenisation. INS Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene class submarines built under Project 75 (Kalvari Class) was inducted into the Indian Navy at an impressive ceremony in the presence of Vidyasagar Rao, the Governor of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Mantri, Dr Subhash Bhamre, Raksha Rajya Mantri, Ajit Kumar Doval, National Security Advisior, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command, Commodore Rakesh Anand (Retd), CMD, MDL, Commodore Subra-Manian (Retd), Commanding Officer of erstwhile Kalvari, the first submarine of Indian Navy and a large number of other dignitaries.

At the commissioning ceremony the Prime Minster was presented a 100-man Guard of Honour and was introduced to the Kalvari’s officers and other dignitaries present at the ceremony. Congratulating the people of India on this occasion, the Prime Minister described INS Kalvari as a prime example of ‘Make in India’. He commended all those involved in its manufacture. He described the submarine as an excellent illustration of the fast-growing strategic partnership between India and France. He said INS Kalvari will add even greater strength to the Indian Navy. The Prime Minister said that the 21st century is described as Asia’s century. He added that it is also certain that the road to development in the 21st century goes through the Indian Ocean. That is why the Indian Ocean has a special place in the policies of the Government, he added. The Prime Minister said this vision can be understood through the acronym SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.

The Prime Minister said India is fully alert with regard to its global, strategic and economic interests in the Indian Ocean. He said that is why the modern and multidimensional Indian Navy plays a leading role in promoting peace and stability in the region. He said the ocean’s innate potential adds economic muscle to our national development. That is why, he added, India is well aware of the challenges such as sea-borne terrorism, piracy, and drug trafficking, that not just India, but other nations in the region also have to face. He said India is playing a key role in tackling these challenges.

He said India believes that the world is one family, and is fulfilling its global responsibilities. India has played the role of “first responder” for its partner countries, in times of crises, he added. He said the human face of Indian diplomacy and Indian security establishment is our speciality. He said a strong and capable India has a vital role to play for humanity. He said countries of the world wish to walk with India on the path of peace and stability. The Prime Minister said that the entire ecosystem related to defence and security has started to change in the last three years. He said the skill-set accumulated during the manufacture of INS Kalvari is an asset for India.

Congratulating the MDL for restarting the production line of submarines once again, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Raksha Mantri thanked the Yard workers, who she said, “mattered high on this day”. The process of submarine construction has again been started in the country and it should not stop, the Raksha Mantri said. She emphasised the need to avoid episodic starts and stops in the industry and maintain a pool of skills needed to build high technology platforms within the country, sustenance of which would lead to a virtuous cycle of betterment for Indian industry, retention of skills and better peace dividends to the nation.

Welcoming the gathering, Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff stated that this commissioning marked a milestone in the journey of the Indian Navy towards indigenous submarine building. The Indian Navy is deeply committed to the principle of indigenisation and the Government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’. Commissioning of Kalvari is a testimony of our resolve and these achievements are a result of the Indian Navy’s proactive and integrated approach to achieve self-reliance.

The Commissioning Warrant of the submarine was read out by the Commanding Officer, Captain S.D. Mehendale. Subsequently, hoisting of the Naval Ensign onboard for the first time and ‘Breaking of the Commissioning Pennant’ with the National Anthem being played, marked the completion of the Commissioning Ceremony.

It is the first Indian naval vessel to be built using modular construction. The welding of five separate sections, which constitute the whole vessel, better known as ‘Boot Together’ was completed on July 30, 2014. She was hauled out on Pontoon from the East Yard Dry Dock of MDL in the presence of the then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on April 6, 2015. The submarine was ‘launched’ and christened as ‘Kalvari’ on October 27, 2015, by Mrs. Ritu Shrawat, wife of then CMD, MDL, Rear Admiral R.K. Shrawat (Retd). Kalvari was first put to sea on May 1, 2016. She has since undergone a comprehensive trial schedule to validate her capability to Float, to Move, and to Fight. Towards the last, she has undertaken successful torpedo launch as well as the Navy’s maiden SM 39 Exocet combat missile firing on March 2, 2017. On completion of trials, the boat was delivered to the Indian Navy by MDL on September 21, 2017.

Kalvari is a potent Man o’ War capable of undertaking offensive operations spanning across the entire spectrum of Maritime Warfare. She embodies cutting-edge technology and compares favourably with the best in the world. Her 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg) power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor.

The Boat’s undersea warfare capability comprises a cluster of advanced weapons and sensors integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). The sonar suite is Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) capable enabling long rage detection and classification. Post classification, she may choose to engage the enemy by utilising either the sea skimming SM 39 EXOCET missiles (Flying Fish in French) or the heavy weight wire guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes. Towards self-defence, she is fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys.

The boat’s attack and search periscopes are equipped with Infrared/Low Light Level cameras and Laser Range finders. The boat also has her two 1250 kW MAN Diesel Engines for rapidly charging batteries. The submarine boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.

Commissioning of INS Kalvari heralds a new era in the growth and development of the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy with all projects of conventional and nuclear-powered submarines bearing the indigenous stamp. Under Project 75, Scorpene delivery of all six submarines will be accomplished by 2020. Project 75-India for six stealthy advanced submarines has now received approval of the Government and baby-steps have been initiated for its launch. In line with already operational nuclear-powered submarine that can launch ballistic missile (SSBN), INS Arihant, three additional SSBNs are being built. Construction of six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN) under classified project has been kicked off.

INS Kalvari: General Specifications

Class and type: Kalvari-class submarine
Displacement:1,565 tonnes (1,725 short tons) (CM-2000)
Length:67.5 metres (202 ft) (CM-2000)
Height:12.3 metres (approx)
Beam:6.2 metres (20 ft)
Draught:5.4 metres (18 ft)
Draft:5.8 metres (19 ft)
Propulsion:Diesel-electric, 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg)
Speed:20 knots (37 kmph) (submerged)
12 knots (22 kmph) (surfaced)
Range:6,500 nm (12,000 km) at 8 knots (15 kmph; 9.2 mph) (submerged)
550 nm (1,020 km) at 5 knots (9.3 kmph; 5.8 mph) (surfaced)
Endurance:40 days (compact); 50 days (normal)
Test depth:>350 metres (1,150 ft)
Complement:Eight Officers and 30 Sailors
Armament:6 x 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes for Heavyweight Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, 30 mines in place of torpedoes