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PM commissions India's 1st indigenously-built Scorpene submarine
By BDK Bureau | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 12/13/2017 2:21:42 PM
PM commissions India's 1st indigenously-built Scorpene submarine

Mumbai: Heralding it as a significant new era to boost India's defence and security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday commissioned the country's first indigenously-built Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy.

He formally unveiled the commissioning plaque and shook hands with naval officers, before taking a quick voyage in the submarine.It is named after the first Foxtort-class submarine - INS Kalvari - which was inducted into the Navy on December 8, 1967. This indigenous version comes days after the golden jubilee of the Navy's submarine wing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the commissioning ceremony of Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari in Mumbai on Dec 14, 2017. Modi on Thursday commissioned the country's first indigenously-built Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari to the Indian Navy terming it a significant new era "to boost India's defence and security".


This is the first conventional submarine to be inducted into the Indian Navy. Kalvari means Tiger Shark. Modi was received at the Naval Dockyard by Navy Chief Sunil Lanba and presented a 100-man Guard of Honour.He thanked France for its help and collaboration in developing the Scorpene submarines, which encompass superior stealth and combat capabilities. 

"It signifies strengthening of the growing strategic ties between India and France," Modi said.The Scorpenes were being built by the Mazagaon Dockyard Ltd (MDL) here under Project 75 with transfer of technology from a foreign collaborator -- DCNS of France.He said the INS Kalvari will provide a significant boost and synergise the country's defence, economic, technical and international powers, along with people power on the global arena.

It will play a crucial role in India's security and regional stability, he added.Modi said India was fully alert with regard to its global, strategic and economic interests in the Indian Ocean."India's humanitarian commitment to national security and diplomacy makes us stand apart in the world. So, a safe and secure India is good not just for this country but for entire humanity."

He said India was playing a crucial role in confronting "all challenges emanating from the high seas, be it terrorism, piracy, narcotics smuggling or illegal fishing" for the countries in the Indian Ocean rim.In her address, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said submarines were "lethal, potent and cutting platforms in modern warfare, essential for peace and deterrence".INS Kalvari is manned by a team comprising of eight officers and 35 sailors with Captain S.D. Mehendale at the helm. 

The commissioning will augment the offensive capability of the Indian Navy and the Western Naval Command in particular. The second in the series of six submarines in this project, INS Khanderi is currently undergoing sea trials and all the submarines are due to be inducted gradually into the Indian Navy by 2020.The state-of-the-art features of the Scorpenes include superior stealth and ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons.

The attacks can be carried out with torpedoes both while submerged or on the surface -- in all war theatres including the tropics, giving it an unmatched invulnerability.The submarine has an overall length of 67.5 metre and a height of about 12.3 metres. The hull form, fin and hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance.Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and French Ambassador Alexandre Zeigler were present at the event.


Navy to Commissioned first Scorpene-class submarine on Thursday


Mumbai: Regarded as a very prestigious acquisition, INS Kalvari is the most potent platform to have been constructed in India. The construction of the Submarine, designated as MDL Yard 11875 commenced with the first cutting of steel at MDL on 14 Dec 2006.  The ‘Boot Together’ of the submarine wherein the five separate sections were welded into one was completed on 30 Jul 2014.  Interestingly she is the first Indian Naval vessel to be built using this modular approach of  construction. She was hauled out on Pontoon from the East Yard Dry Dock of MDL in the presence of the then Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar on 06 Apr 2015. The submarine was ‘launched’ and christened as ‘Kalvari’ on 27 Oct 2015 by Mrs. Ritu Shrawat, wife of then CMD, MDL, R Adm RK Shrawat (Retd.) by striking a coconut on the hull with a Sanskrit invocation from the Atharva Veda to the Goddess Aditi, mother of the Sun God Surya (Aditya).

This is the first conventional submarine to be inducted into the Indian Navy after more than 17 years even as the navy's submarine arm celebrates it golden jubilee this year.


Kalvari first put to sea on 01 May 2016. She has since undergone a comprehensive trial schedule to validate her capability to Float, to Move, and to Fight Towards the last, she has undertaken successful torpedo launch as well as the Navy’s maiden SM 39 Exocet combat missile firing on 02 Mar 2017. The formal delivery of the boat to the Indian Navy is the last milestone before Commissioning. On completion of trials, the boat was delivered to the Indian Navy by MDL on 21 Sep 2017.

Kalvari is a potent Man o’ War capable of undertaking offensive operations spanning across the entire spectrum of Maritime Warfare.  She embodies cutting edge technology and compares favourably with the best in the world. She has an overall length of 67.5 metres and a height of about 12.3 metres.  The hull form, the fin and the hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance. Her 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg) power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. Her stealth is further enhanced through the mounting of equipment inside the pressure hull on shock absorbing cradles. 

The Boat’s undersea warfare capability comprises a cluster of advanced weapons and sensors integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). The sonar suite is Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) capable enabling long rage detection and classification. Post classification, she may choose to engage the enemy by utilising either the sea skimming SM 39 EXOCET missiles (Flying Fish in French) or the heavy weight wire guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes.  Towards self-defence, she is fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys.

The boats attack and search periscopes are equipped with Infrared/ Low Light Level cameras and Laser Range finders. The boat also has her two 1250 kW MAN Diesel Engines for rapidly charging batteries. The submarine boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.

The Ship’s Crest

The crests of all Indian Naval ships depict three sail ships at the top commemorating India’s rich maritime heritage. This is followed by the Ashoka Chakra flanked by a Horse and a Bull on either side. The circular lower part depicts a ring of lotus buds encircling the unique badge of each ship with her name written in Devnagiri script. 

True to tradition Kalvari’s crest is similarly designed. It depicts Kalvari a Tiger Shark in Malayalam, which symbolises agility, strength and predatory prowess. The Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo Cuvier) a species of Requiem Shark found in tropical and temperate waters is a macropredator, capable of attaining a length of over 5 metres. It is a solitary and mostly nocturnal hunter whose skin pattern resembles the tiger’s stripes. It is known for having the widest food spectrum of all sharks, with a range of prey that includes crustaceans, fish, seals, birds, squid, turtles, sea snakes, dolphins, and even other smaller sharks. Noticeably the shark is superimposed over both ocean and sky, alluding to the boat’s capability of engaging both surface and subsurface targets.

The Ship’s Motto

The submarine’s motto “Ever Onward” epitomises the submarine’s zeal and indomitable spirit. The motto has been imbibed by the crew and inspires them to overcome all odds and to never rest on their laurels as well.

The Ship’s Logo

The submarine’s logo, comprising three distinct yet closely interlinked elements, truly represent the crew’s single minded focus on offensive capability. The external ring in grey symbolises the port hole of an enemy warship. A fearsome steel grey tiger shark representing Kalvari herself is depicted surging through the enemy porthole with deadly intent. The sea in the background is aflame subsequent to the attack. The pattern of the waves in black and orange pays tribute to the Tiger Shark’s namesake the Royal Bengal Tiger. The boat’s name and pennant number, S-21, which is her distinct identity amongst other warships is suitably depicted below the motto. The submarine’s logo is proudly displayed on ceremonial occasions.

History of the Submarine Arm

The history of the Indian Navy’s Submarine Arm can be traced to the dedicated efforts of over a decade that commenced soon after India attained her independence.  A modest beginning was made when a team of officers were trained at HMS Dolphin, UK in 1962. The Submarine Arm came into being on 08 Dec 1967 when the Tricolour was hoisted on the first INS Kalvari. Thereon the Foxtrots, with their cheerful and determined crews, set the Arm’s proud traditions. Two of these boats participated in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

The induction of the 877 EKM (Sindhughosh class) and Type 209 (Shishumar class) brought advancements in technology and fire power. The commissioning of the first Indian built (by MDL) submarine INS Shalki on 07 Feb 1992 heralded the country’s indigenous submarine construction capability.  Commissioning of the nuclear powered Chakra–I in 1988 and Chakra–II in 2012 leapfrogged the IN into a select group of nuclear submarine operating navies.

Indeed, from modest beginnings the goal of continually strengthening the Submarine Arm has been diligently pursued. This journey of 50 years has been a saga of passion, grit, determination and commitment. Since inception, the Dolphins have established a strong tradition of willingly accepting the challenges of operating in the unforgiving environment that lies beneath providing both the sword and the shield to the nation.

The insignia of the Submarine Arm is the National Emblem flanked by two dolphins. Dolphins, attendants to Poseidon, the Greek God of the sea and patron deity to sailors, are considered as the sailor’s friends. They were also chosen to represent the Submarine Arm because of the characteristic way in which they dive and surface.

The erstwhile INS Kalvari, the first Indian submarine, was commissioned on 08 Dec 1967, under the command of Commander K.S.Subra-Manian at the Soviet seaport of Riga. Since then the day is aptly celebrated as “Submarine Day” by the Indian Navy. Kalvari embarked on her maiden passage from Riga on 18 Apr 1968 and arrived at Vishakhapatnam on 16 Jul 1968 covering a total of 19,000 nautical miles enroute. After almost three decades of service, the sentinel of the deep was decommissioned on 31 May 1996. After decommissioning Kalvari’s fin has been displayed at Beach Road, Visakhapatnam as part of the city’s Maritime Museum. Kalvari’s original bell as well as the Officers’ Commissioning Plaque was gifted to the Commanding Officer of the new Kalvari in 2015 by the then Commander-in- Chief, Eastern Naval Command,  Vice Admiral Satish Soni.



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