INS Kalvari: All you need to know about navy’s first Scorpene submarine

Updated on Dec 14, 2017 03:10 PM IST

Kalvari is named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean.

HT Image(Indian Navy website)
HT Image(Indian Navy website)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The first of a six scorpene submarine, Kalvari, was on Thursday handed over to the Indian Navy for its commissioning.

Kalvari is named after the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean. The navy is betting on the ‘Make in India’ Scorpene project to sharpen its underwater attack capabilities.

Here’s all you need to know about the submarine:

The project

Kalvari was built indigenously under a venture called Project 75, at Mumbai’s Mazagon Docks. Under this project, the Indian Navy was authorised to build six submarines in collaboration with French firm DCNS at a cost of around Rs 350 crore.

Construction of the first submarine had started on May 23, 2009 and the project ended way behind schedule.

Features and stealth

Kalvari can carry 18 torpedoes and travel 1,020km underwater. The 66-metre submarine can dive up to a depth of 300 metres to elude enemy detection.

It has superior stealth and the ability to launch crippling attacks on the enemy with precision-guided weapons. The attack can be carried out with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles underwater or from the surface.

This Scorpene submarine is designed to operate in all theatres of war, including the tropics. Kalvari is capable of handling various missions such as anti-surface warfare (attacking surface ships), anti-submarine warfare (destroying submarines), intelligence gathering, mine-laying and area surveillance.

Maiden sea trial of INS Kalvari. (Indian Navy website)
Maiden sea trial of INS Kalvari. (Indian Navy website)

The Kalvari was built with a special kind of high-tensile steel that is capable of withstanding high yield stress. This feature allows it to withstand pressure exerted by water, hydrostatic force, while diving deeper to enhance stealth.

It is also capable of carrying weapons that can be easily reloaded at sea.

‘Reincarnation’ of first Kalvari

In keeping with the India’s’ mythologies and naval tradition, the Kalvari is a ‘reincarnation’ of the first Indian submarine to be commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 8, 1967. The previous Kalvari served for nearly three decades, before being decommissioned in May 1996.

“In true nautical tradition, she will now be reincarnated, by Mazagon Dock, once again a powerful predator of the deep, guarding the vast maritime interests of our nation,” the navy said.

Other Scorpene submarines

The second of the Scorpenes under construction, Khanderi, was launched in January 2017 and it is currently undergoing rigorous phase of sea trials. The third Scorpene, Karanj, is being readied for launch later this year.

The remaining submarines are likely to be delivered to the navy by 2020.

India’s submarine fleet

The Indian fleet consists of Russian Kilo-class and German HDW class 209 submarines. Limited serviceability is also an issue -- not all these boats are battle ready at any given point of time.

India’s sub-sea warfare capability pales in front of China’s. The Communist neighbour operates 53 diesel-electric attack submarines, five nuclear attack submarines and four nuclear ballistic missile submarines.

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