The third of the Scorpene class submarine ‘Karanj’ was launched on January 31 by Reena Lanba, wife of the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) and President Navy Wives Welfare Association at the Mumbai based, public sector naval shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL). This is third of the six diesel- electric French Scorpene submarine ordered by Indian Navy.
“The submarine was then towed to Mumbai Port Trust, for separation from the pontoon. Karanj will now undergo rigorous trials and tests, both in harbour and at sea before it is commissioned into the Navy,” Ministry of Defence said in a statement. Admiral Sunil Lanba, CNS, was the chief guest on the occasion. Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Office in Charge-in-Chief, Western Naval Command and Rear Admiral Guillame de Garidel, Head of Asia Pacific, DGA France along with other officials, were also present during the ceremony.
Addressing the gathering, Admiral Sunil Lanba, said that the launch of Karanj marked a significant departure from the manning and training philosophy that was adopted for the first two submarines and added that from third submarine onwards the Navy would be fully self reliant in training and certification processes.
INS Kalvari, first Scorpene submarine, was commissioned on December 14, 2017. The second boat of the class INS Khanderi, launched in January last year, is undergoing rigorous phase of sea trials and is expected to join the Navy shortly.
The state-of-the-art technology utilised for construction of the Scorpene class submarines has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized 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, whilst 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 an invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines.
In 2005, through India-France government to government deal French naval ship builder Naval Group, formerly DCNS, was contracted for six submarines through a License Agreement under Transfer of Technology. MDL was selected as Indian shipyard to build the six submarines. To execute the project, Naval Group created a 100 per cent Indian subsidiary and also set up a dedicated team at MDL.
While attending the event at Mumbai, Alain Guillou, Senior Executive Vice President, Naval Group said, “This is a remarkable feat achieved by India, and MDL is indeed grown to be among the rarest of shipyards around the world to have mastered such unique competence of submarine building. We are glad to partner with such a shipyard, which can boast of competence and infrastructure which allows them to build 12 submarines at a time, thus proving an industrial marvel and an asset for Indian Navy and Indian government.”
Similar to Kalvari, Karanj is also named after Indian Navy’s first fleet of Russian Foxtrot class submarine. The erstwhile INS Karanj, third ship of the four submarine of the first batch of Foxtrot submarines, participated in the 1971 war, was commissioned on September 4, 1969, and after completing service for 34 years retired on August 1, 2003.
Scorpene class is the first Indian naval vessel to be built using modular construction. The wielding of the five separate sections, which constitute the whole vessel, better known as ‘Boot Together’ was completed on July 30, 2014.
The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, with means provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It is expected to join the Indian naval fleet sometime next year.