Mumbai : Inducting the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines into the Indian Navy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned INS Kalvari on Thursday at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai stating that the submarine induction was testimony to the government’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.
“To dedicate this submarine to the nation is an equal proud moment for me. After a gap of nearly two decades India has got this kind of a submarine and Kalvari is a fine example of the Make-in-India testimony. It is also a good model for international collaboration,” Modi said.
INS Kalvari, a diesel-electric submarine, a part of ‘Project 75’ has been built by the Mazgaon Dockyard Limited in collaboration with French naval defence and energy company DCNS. The state-of-the-art technology utilised in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles, while underwater or on surface. The stealth of this potent platform is enhanced by the special attention given to various signatures. These stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines.
The second of the Scorpenes under construction at MDL, Khanderi, was launched in January 2017, and is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials. The third Scorpene, Karanj, is being readied for launch shortly. The balance three submarines are in various stages of outfitting. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.
As is the tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy, are re-incarnated after decommissioning. So it is with Kalvari, named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean. The first Kalvari, commissioned in December 1967, was also the first submarine of the Indian Navy. She was decommissioned on 31 May 1996 after almost 30 years of yeoman service to the nation.
On India’s role in the region and its global responsibilities, PM Modi said, “Indian Ocean has coined India’s history. It has helped the country forge not only economic but also cultural and social ties with other nations. Our sea coast is over 7500 kilometres long, it includes around 1300 small and big islands and around 25 lakh kilometres of exclusive economic zone. They say, 21st century is Asia’s century, it is also true that the path of success for the 21st century will be through the Indian ocean,” he added.
Talking about a ‘paradigm shift’ in defence policies and initiatives and procurements, the PM said, “While on one hand we have prioritised the issue of procuring necessary equipment, on the other hand we are setting a pro-active agenda to develop technology indigenously. We are ensuring there is transparency and competition so that we get the best.”
“We have also made changes in the Defence exports policies so that Indian companies not only manufacture but also export defence equipment. A list of around 150 non-core items has been drawn up which now can be purchased by the Defence forces without seeking any clearances from the ordnance factories. They can directly procure them from the private companies,” he said. “In order to make the country self-reliant, the Government is forging strategic collaborations with private companies. Just like other western countries we want that even Indian companies should manufacture everything right from fighter planes to helicopters to tanks and even submarines on this soil,” the PM added.
Cmde Rakesh Anand, Chairman and Managing Director, MDL stated that the induction of Kalvari into the Indian Navy, would be a game changer in the field of underwater warfare due to its superiority in all operational aspects. He also highlighted the aspect pertaining to completion of all weapon firings prior commissioning of the Submarine, which indeed was a unique achievement.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were among those who attended the commissioning ceremony.