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Navy set to induct Kalvari: 5 things that make building submarines complex

The Scorpene is expected to become the main conventional submarine of the Indian fleet and replace the ageing Russian Kilo class and German HDW vessels

india Updated: Mar 09, 2017 14:26 IST
Rahul Singh
The floating out ceremony of the first Scorpene-class submarine, Kalvari, in Mumbai.
The floating out ceremony of the first Scorpene-class submarine, Kalvari, in Mumbai.(HT File Photo)

The navy is expected to induct its first Scorpene-class submarine, named Kalvari, this June, sharpening its underwater warfare capabilities.

This will be followed by the commissioning of the second French-designed diesel-electric attack submarine, Khanderi, in December. Kalvari and Khanderi are two of the six Scorpene submarines being constructed in the country with technology transfer from French firm DCNS under a Rs 23,562-crore programme called Project 75.

The Scorpene is expected to become the main conventional submarine of the Indian fleet and replace the ageing Russian Kilo class and German HDW vessels that are almost three decades old.

The Scorpene project, plagued by cost overruns and missed deadlines, is important as the navy’s underwater attack capabilities have blunted over time. India operates 13 ageing conventional submarines and an Akula-II nuclear-powered attack boat leased from Russia.

All six submarines are expected to join the Indian fleet over the next three years, with a third boat, Vela, likely to be launched in the coming months.

As India gets ready to expand its underwater fleet, HT gives you the lowdown on why building submarines is extremely complex using data accessed from the navy:

NUMBER OF MANHOURS TO ASSEMBLE:

Submarine: 2,500,000

Frigate: 1,200,000

Boeing 777: 50,000

Tank: 5,500

Khanderi, the second of Indian Navy’s Scorpene class stealth submarine, was launched in January. (HT file photo)

ASSEMBLY PARTS:

Submarine: 500,000

Frigate: 170,000

Boeing 777: 100,000

Tank: 14,000

INS Betwa, the frontline Brahmaputra-class frigate, will be operational again by September 2018. (HT file photo)

NUMBER OF SUPPLIERS:

Submarine: 1,600

Frigate: 600

Boeing 777: 550

Tank: 600

There are 100,000 assembly parts in a Boeing 777. (Livemint file photo)

NUMBER OF SYSTEMS:

Submarine: 108

Frigate: 60

Boeing 777: 40

Tank: 25

It takes 5,500 manhours to assemble a tank. (HT file photo)

CONSTRUCTION TIME (in months):

Submarine: 60

Frigate: 22

Boeing 777: 14

Tank: 7