INS Karanj Commissioned as India Navy’s Newest Scorpene Submarine

The Indian Navy got its third Scorpene submarine, which will be commissioned as INS Karanj diesel-electric attack submarine. INS Karanj (2018) is the third submarine of the first batch of six Kalvari-class submarines for the Indian Navy. It is a diesel-electric attack submarine based on the Scorpène class, designed by French naval defence and energy group DCNS and manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited, an Indian shipyard in Mumbai. The ship was launched on 31 January 2018. The submarine was delivered to Indian Navy on 15 February 2021. Accepting the submarine yesterday, MDL chairman and managing director Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (retired) and Western Naval Command’s chief of staff officer (technical) Rear Admiral B Sivakumar put their signatures on the document.

The Kalvari class is a class of diesel-electric attack submarines based on the Scorpène-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy. The class and submarines take their names from the first submarines inducted in the Indian Navy. The submarines are designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and are being manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. It has a length of 67.5 m (221 ft), height of 12.3 m (40 ft), overall beam of 6.2 m (20 ft) and a draught of 5.8 m (19 ft). It can reach a top speed of 20 kn (37 km/h) when submerged and a maximum speed of 11 kn (20 km/h) when surfaced. The submarine has a range of 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h) when surfaced. Each ship is powered by four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines, has 360 battery cells (750 kg each), for power and has a silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor.

Indian Navy INS Karanj Kalvari class Submarine
Indian Navy INS Karanj Kalvari class Submarine

The hull, fin and hydroplanes are designed for minimum underwater resistance and all equipment inside the pressure hull is mounted on shock absorbing cradles for enhanced stealth. This class is equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes for a combination of 18 heavyweight wire-guided German-made Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes and SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles or 30 mines in place of both.[26][27] The class is also fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys for self-defence.The weapon systems and sensors are integrated with Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). It has a sonar system is capable of Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) enabling long range detection and classification. Each submarine has a complement of 8 officers and 35 sailors.

In 1997, Indian Ministry of Defence approved a plan to acquire 24 submarines under Project 75. After the Kargil War in 1999, Cabinet Committee on Security approved a 30-year submarine building plan that called for two parallel production lines, each constructing six submarines. The older Project 75 was brought under the new plan, with the two production lines to be built under Project 75 and Project 75I using transfer of technology from different foreign manufacturers. The hull fabrication of all six submarines is now complete. The first submarine was commissioned on 14 December 2017 and the remaining boats are expected to be delivered by 2022. Three more such submarines are under development/sea trials phase and these include INS Vela, INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer. While the first two are undergoing sea trials, INS Vagsheer is still under development.

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