The first submarine of the Indian Navy INS Kalvari was commissioned on December 8, 1967, at Balderoi, Riga, under the command of Commander (later Commodore) K.S. SubraManian, thus this year the Indian Navy is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its Submarine Arm. We at SP’s Naval Forces are also contributing to the celebrations in our own way by bringing out a dedicated issue on this occasion. The importance of the event can be gauged by the fact that the CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba has sent a special message to us for this issue where his statement, “I am glad that the SP’s is publishing a special issue on this occasion”, says it all. There are a host of articles in the special issue on the Submarine Arm, ranging from the very nostalgic interview of Commodore K.S. Subra-Manian who has recounted in detail his memories of the induction of the first submarine, its growth and future technologies.
The importance of the Submarine Arm can be measured by a dispatch sent by the then CNS, Vice Admiral A.K. Chatterji to Commander K.S. SubraManian; excerpts of which stated that, “I am sure that you will do your best to master the difficult art of submarining and conduct yourselves in the best traditions of the service. On your efforts will depend the future of the Submarine Arm.”
Submariners have performed with valour in the 1971 War with Pakistan where Commander M.N. Sawant was awarded Maha Vir Chakra and Commander V.S. Shekhawat (later CNS) was awarded Vir Chakra. INS Karanj, INS Kursura and INS Khanderi took part in the 1971 operations. The first new Scorpene submarine has been also named INS Kalvari (S50).
In the article on growth and development of the Submarine Arm, the author takes you through a fascinating journey of the evolution of submarine war- fare from the Battle of Trafalgar, in January 1806 to a century and eleven years later when the Zimmermann Telegram declared the beginning of submarine warfare. The telegram was a coded message dispatched by Arthur Zimmermann of the Foreign Office of the German Empire on January 19, 1917 to their German ambassador in Mexico, in anticipation of the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany on February 1, 1917. The other landmark development was the commissioning of USS George Washington, the first SSBN on December 30, 1959, which became the platform of choice for the “assured second strike capability”.
Navies across the globe have acknowledged that the submarine is the most lethal and strategic platform in naval warfare thus an article on the new submarine technologies being developed across the globe which would change the exploitation pattern and operational cycle of future submarines is included. There is requirement to analyse the maritime power balance in the Indian Ocean region and suggest options for rejuvenating the Indian Navy’s depleting submarine fleet thus an article on the subject.
There are also write ups included of other events/developments in the Indian Navy. The News Digest just about wraps this issue. We hope that this issue becomes a Collector’s item for all you discerning readers who will cherish it.
We also wish all serving submariners “Happy Submarining”.