India’s leading shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Shipbuilder Limited (MDL) is all geared up to launch Khanderi, the second of the six Kalvari-class submarines, being locally built in India on January 12th. The event will have Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and senior Naval officials in attendance.
India is among few countries in the world which produces conventional submarines. Six submarines are being built at MDL in collaboration with M/s DCNS of France, as a part of Project 75 of Indian Navy. The first submarine of the class (Kalvari) is completing its sea trials and will be commissioned shortly into the Indian Navy, said a statement from Indian Navy.
Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century according to the press release.
The launch of Khanderi is a major breakthrough in the navy’s ambitious Program – 75. Work on Khanderi which was cherished ‘Yard 11876’ through its construction phase began in 2011. Almost 95% of the work on the submarine has been completed and the launch shall lead to the separation of the submarine from the pontoon on which it was being assembled.
The submarine following the launch will be fitted out with all necessary equipments and shall enter its harbour trial phase in the coming months. Khanderi is expected to head out to the open waters for elaborate sea trials later this year.
Navy has also confirmed that Kalvari, the first submarine of the P-75, will soon be completing its sea trials following which it will be commissioned to the force later this year.
Under P-75, MDL in partnership with DCNS is manufacturing six diesel-electric submarines, based on the Scorpene-class submarines which are designed by French-based maritime giant DCNS.
Project – 75 has emerged as a success story in the governments ‘Make in India’ initiative with Kalvari-class submarines featuring several indigenously developed sub-systems. The program will not only be arming the navy with six deadly silent submarines but will also provide the country with a sustainable maritime platform building eco-system.
The Scorpene submarines are by design hunter killer submarines. They can sail with almost zero-noise underwater, thanks to its modular diesel-electric engines. This enables the submarine to mask itself and tail enemy high-value targets such as ‘aircraft carriers’ or ‘SSBN’s’ to gain crucial acoustical and thermal images. These data acquired by the submarines will prove vital in war times.
Kalvari-class submarines are capable of attaining a maximum speed of 37 km/h when operating on diesel engines. For ultra-quiet operations which are critical when tailing targets, the diesel engines are complemented by two Jeumont-Schneider EPM Magtronic batteries which produce a raw power of 2800 kW.
Being a hunter killer submarine, the primary weapon of the Scorpenes are the heavy-weight homing torpedoes which can strike naval targets with pin-point accuracy. Kalavri-class submarines will also carry the dreaded SM-39 Exocet anti-shipping cruise missiles. Exocet missiles are capable of striking targets up to 50 kilometres away when armed with a 165-kg high-explosive conventional warhead.
Bernard Buisson, MD, DCNS India asserts that the P-75 submarines equipped with advanced stealth features and integrated combat system remains the most modern submarine of its class.
MDL and DCNS plan to deliver a single submarine to the navy every nine months eventually completing the project by 2022.
The launch of Khanderi and the expected commissioning of Kalvari is a major boost to the navy’s plummeting underwater war-making capabilities.