Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday dedicated naval submarine INS Kalvari to the nation. In a ceremony in Mumbai, he expressed his gratitude to France and the workers responsible for building the vessel, which is the first of six Scorpene-class submarines in the Indian Navy. Touted as India’s deadliest submarine, the attack submarine was indigenously built at Mazgaon Dock Limited in Mumbai in September this year. For the last 120 days, the vessel was put through extensive trials and tests.
“I thank all those workers associated with INS Kalvari. I also want to thank France for the construction of INS Kalvari. This is a fine example of the fast growing strategic partnership between India and France,” Modi said in Mumbai. “Today is a day of pride. I would like to congratulate all the citizens of this country on this historic occasion.”
The commissioning ceremony was also attended by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and top defence officials.
Saying the 21st century was “Asia’s century” and that its development would have to go through India, Modi coined the acronym SAGAR (sea) — “Security And Growth for All in the Region.”
“Be it terrorism via sea, piracy, drug smuggling or illegal fishing, India is playing an important role in combating these threats,” Modi said, reported ANI. He added that the defence sector is open for foreign direct investiment (FDI).
Speaking at the ceremony, Sitharaman said submarines are lethal, potent and cutting edge platforms in modern-day warfare. Describing them as essential for peace and deterance, she added that INS Kalvari will be an “invaluable asset” to the Indian Navy. She said, “Peace in Indian Ocean, which is the lifeline of global trade, is better off with INS Kalvari and her follow on submarines.”
INS Kalvari has superior stealth features, including advanced acoustic silencing techniques, hydro-dynamically optimised shape, and low radiated noise level. It is also equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes. It can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at sea, through special handling and loading equipment.
“The submarine is designed to operate in all theaters including the tropics. Attack on the enemy can be launched with torpedoes, and as tube launched anti-ship missiles, while it is underwater or on surface,” a Naval source said, reported The Indian Express. The submarine was built as by French naval defence and energy company DCNS, as part of Project-75 of the Indian Navy.
‘Kalvari,’ is a deep-sea tiger shark found in the Indian Ocean. INS Kalvari is named after India’s first submarine, which was commissioned on December 8, 1967 and decommissioned on May 31, 1996 after three decades of service.
(With inputs from agencies)