The Indian Navy has commissioned its third six Kalvari-class (Scorpene-class) submarine, the INS Karanj (S23). Induction ceremony was attended by top Navy officials, including chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Admiral (Retired) VS Shekhawat. Mazagon Dock Ltd, the country’s biggest shipyard, delivered the boat to the Indian Navy a few days ago after two years of sea trials. Singh and retired admiral VS Shekhawat were present during the occasion. Shekhawat, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and was also its commanding officer during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. The state-owned firm is assembling six Scorpene submarines in partnership with French naval shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly DCNS).
The submarine was launched on 31 January 2018 and delivered to Indian Navy on 15 February 2021. The trials of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, recently developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation, have been just completed. The system will be ready in 2023 and after that when the first submarine will go for refit, the AIP will be installed in her. Air-independent propulsion (AIP) is any marine propulsion technology that allows a non-nuclear submarine to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen. AIP can augment or replace the diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels. AIP plug will increase the capability of submarines to remain underwater for longer.
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 Kalvari class is capable of offensive operations across the entire spectrum of naval warfare including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance. 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.
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. 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. The class is also fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys for self-defence.