SP's NavalForces - - SUBMARINE ARM SPECIAL - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

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”.

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