Indigenously built submarines
India will soon be self-reliant in manufacturing these special marine warfare machines.
The INS Kalvari, (meaning deep sea tiger shark) the first of the six Scorpene class indigenously built submarines, being fabricated in India at Mazgaon Docks Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in collaboration with DCNS of France, would be commissioned in July or August this year.
As of today, she is going through the final trials. DCNS is a French industrial group specialised in building ships and submarines. DCNS has been in existence for the last 400 years.
A Submarine is a vessel that can be submerged and navigated under water. It is usually built for warfare and armed with torpedoes or guided missiles.
Mazgaon Docks Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) is the leading defence shipyard in the country and has played a key role in the maritime affairs of India for over two centuries.
The shipyards of MDL were established in the 18th century. Ownership of the yards passed through the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company and the British-India Steam Navigation Company.
Eventually, ‘Mazgaon Dock Limited’ was registered as a public company in 1934. The shipyard was nationalised in 1960 and is now a Public Sector Undertaking under defence ministry of the Government of India.
Since its acquisition by the government in 1960 with a strategic national objective of indigenous shipbuilding, MDL has built and delivered a large number of frontline warships, submarines and the like. The first indigenously built frontline warship INS Nilgiri was built by MDL and commissioned into the Indian Navy in the year 1972.
A 30-year submarine building plan proposed by the India Naval authorities was approved by the Government of India in July 1999. It envisaged the manufacture of 24 submarines, all of them
in India, the first twelve with transfer of technology from foreign collaborators and the
next twelve indigenously.
The project envisaged the building of six French Scorpene Class submarines in the time frame 2012-2017. The first completed Scorpene was scheduled to be delivered by 2012 but due to inordinate delays and teething problems, the date has been postponed a number of times.
Submarines in succession
The second Scorpene class submarine INS Kandheri will be inducted nine months after INS Kalvari gets commissioned. The remaining four submarines will then join service at a gap of nine months each.
As per tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy are brought alive again after decommissioning. The first INS Kalvari was commissioned on 8 December 1967 and decommissioned on 31 May 1996. It belonged to an early Russian Foxtrot-class submarines. Her sail is on display at Vishakhapatnam Naval base on the East coast of India in Andhra Pradesh.
A sail of a submarine is the tall, narrow structure, which rises from the middle of a submarine’s deck. The sail stands about 6 meters high. It holds the periscopes and the radar and radio antennas. The top of the sail also serves as the bridge, from where the captain directs the craft when on the surface.