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INS Kalvari sea trials begin today: All you need to know about the attack submarine

INS Kalvari, the first of six Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) on order for the Indian Navy, will be set afloat at Mazagon Dockyard Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai on Thursday. On April 6, INS Kalvari was floated out in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. With today’s event, the sea trials of INS Kalvari […]

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: December 25, 2015 11:24 pm
INS Kalvari, MoD, Ministry of Defence The 66-metre-long INS Kalvari is part of a .6 billion contract signed by the defence ministry with French firm DCNS in October 2005 to deliver six vessels.

INS Kalvari, the first of six Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) on order for the Indian Navy, will be set afloat at Mazagon Dockyard Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai on Thursday. On April 6, INS Kalvari was floated out in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. With today’s event, the sea trials of INS Kalvari will commence and are likely to continue for the next 10 months until the commissioning of the submarine. The vessel is scheduled to be commissioned in September 2016.

The 66-metre-long INS Kalvari is part of a $3.6 billion contract signed by the defence ministry with French firm DCNS in October 2005 to deliver six vessels. The contract envisages construction of six SSKs under India’s Project 75 submarine construction programme at MDL under license from DCNS. While the first four are conventional submarines, the last two are to be equipped with the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, which will enable the vessel to stay underwater for longer.

The Defence Ministry has already stated that after INS Kalvari, the remaining five boats of the Project 75 would be delivered to the Navy by 2020 and “would form the core of the Navy’s submarine arm for the next two decades”.

According to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships, INS Kalvari is armed with six 533 mm torpedo tubes that can deploy the SM-39 Exocet Block 2 anti-ship missile.

Against its requirement of 24-30 submarines, India currently has only 14 submarines: nine Kilo class (EKMs), four German-designed HDWs (SSKs) and one Akula class nuclear-powered submarine (SSN) on lease from Russia (since 2012). In comparison, China has 68 submarines and Pakistan, five; Pakistan is also in the process of acquiring another six submarines from China.

In answer to a parliamentary question, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had informed that the Navy has commissioned two submarines and de-commissioned five over the last 15 years. Last year, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence had said that it was “dismayed” at the “snail’s-pace” of commissioning naval vessels.

Adding the sheer low numbers of submarine strength is the vintage and operational availability of the existing fleet. More than half the submarines have completed 75 per cent of their operational lives and require greater maintenance and repairs to keep them serviceable beyond their operational lives.

With the commencement of sea trials of INS Kalvari today, it can be expected that the MDL will be able to supply the balance five SSKs also on schedule, once every nine month. A vital gap in the Navy’s submarine strength will then be filled, if not fully but substantially, by 2020.

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    S.Suchindranath
    May 7, 2016 at 6:33 am
    This conventional submarine that has taken 16 years to produce was obsolete when it was first conceived. One remembers the old Sanskrit adage, "Yudha Kale Shasthrabhyasaha" or getting used to weapons during war. Preparing for the eventuality of war is a continuous national effort and includes the creation of a nation, and promoting merit, integrity, discipline and competence in all branches of endevour beginning with school teachers and schools. India has systematically and consutionally destro all standards since 1947. This includes the martial spirit, fair play and equity, discipline, sense of national ideny, competence and integrity. So, I very much doubt that India will be able to create and mobilize weaponry necessary to emerging strategy and tactics. It may take at least a century for India to become a Nation and wipe out the last seventy years of going down hill AFTER it abolishes inequality under law, exceptions to the rule of law and "MANY NATIONs" from the Consution and laws, puts Nation first and declares corruption to be treasoon and a capital offence.
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      Sirius
      Oct 29, 2015 at 11:25 am
      Congratulations to MDL/MOD/IN on achieving the Sea-trials milestone. All should relentlessly continue the good work so that the gap in submarine force is bridged on or before the planned dates. I am sure that there will be no let up on political support. I hope that judiciary is also supportive (I.e., dismiss frivolous PIL's & peions).
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        subdriver
        Nov 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm
        Bit confused ? I presume this is the first time the submarine has touched water- if so won't there be extensive harbour trials, HATs, a Task 1 and Task 2 etc etc before the submarine begins sea trials - or has the definition of sea trials changed in the last four years ?
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        1. Ajay Kumar
          Oct 30, 2015 at 3:05 am
          Traitors abound in India. See the state of Arm Forces?
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            Arun Kumar
            Oct 29, 2015 at 2:10 pm
            The work started before he came on the scene. The Contract for Scorpenes was negotiated in 2002 but signed in 2005 dela due change in Government and at that time Pranab Mukherjee was RM. As soon as AKA came things came to a halt.
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