INS ‘Kalvari’ commissioned
First of the six Scorpene- class submarines built under project 75 (INS Kalvari) was formally commissioned at Mumbai by PM Narendra Modi on 14 December 2017. The remaining five submarines are in different stages of construction, to be delivered at the rate of at least one every 12 months.
The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, commissioned INS Kalvari (S-21), the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines built under Project 75 ( Kalvari Class) into the Indian Navy at a ceremony held at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on 14 December 2017. The event marked, formal induction into the Navy of the first of the six submarines being constructed at Mazagon Docks Ltd., in collaboration with the French builder Naval Group (formerly DCNS).
Vidyasagar Rao, the Governor of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, Raksha Mantri, Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Raksha Rajya Mantri, Ajit Kumar Doval, National Security Advisior, Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding- in- Chief Western Naval Command, Commodore Rakesh Anand (Retd), CMD, MDL, Commodore Subramanian ( Retd), Commanding Officer of erstwhile Kalvari ( a Soviet Foxtrot class submarine) and a host of other dignitaries were present to witness this historic and landmark occasion.
Upon arrival at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, Prime Minster Modi was received by Chief of the Naval Staff. The Prime Minster was presented a 100-man Guard of Honour and was introduced to the ship’s officers and other dignitaries present. Congratulating the people of India on this occasion, the Prime Minister described INS Kalvari as a prime example of “Make in India.” He commended all those involved in its manufacture and described the submarine as an excellent illustration of the fast growing strategic partnership between India and France. He said INS Kalvari “would add even more strength to the Indian Navy.”
Congratulating the MDL for restarting the production line of submarines once again, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman, the Raksha Mantri thanked the Yard workers, who she said “mattered high on this day”. The process of submarine construction had again been started in the country and it should not stop, the Raksha Mantri said. She emphasised the need to avoid episodic starts and stops in the industry and maintain a pool of skills needed to build high technology platforms within the country, sustenance of which would lead to a virtuous cycle of betterment for Indian industry, retention of skills and better peace dividends to the nation.
Welcoming the gathering, Admiral Sunil Lanba stated that this commissioning “marked a milestone in the journey of the Indian Navy towards indigenous submarine building.” The Indian Navy was deeply committed to the principle of indigenisation and the Government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’. “Commissioning of Kalvari is a testimony of our resolve and these achievements are a result of the Indian Navy’s proactive and integrated approach to achieve self-reliance” stated the Admiral.
INS Kalvari is manned by a team comprising 8 officers and 35 sailors with Captain SD Mehendale at the helm as her first Commanding Officer. The Kalvari- class submarine is based on the Scorpene- class diesel-electric attack submarines designed by Naval Group and built by MDL. As a part of ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Group has set up a sound defence industrial ecosystem for the indigenous content of the P75 submarines. Therefore, a significant part of the high-tech equipment supplied by Naval Group, has been produced in India in the frame of indigenisation.
Hervé Guillou, Chairman of Naval Group shared the enthusiasm and expressed: “Naval Group is proud to have contributed to the commissioning of INS Kalvari, which achieves our vision to strengthen strategic partnership in India. Naval Group has been operating in India for more than decade and along with its partner MDL, is fully committed to the ‘Make in India’ initiative paving way for self-reliance of Indian Navy. We are convinced that such partnerships based on trust and quality is the key to long term success for Indian defence industry and its sovereignty.”
The first of class, INS Kalvari, set afloat on 27 October 2015, had started its sea trials in 2016. She successfully test fired an MBDA SM39 anti-ship missile and torpedo and thus is “combat ready.”
“We congratulate the Indian Government and all those involved in the induction of the INS Kalvari into service with the Indian Navy. MBDA is proud that its Exocet SM39 missile has been chosen to provide the Kalvari- class of submarines with its advanced anti-ship capabilities thereby reaffirming the Company’s longstanding relationship with India’s Armed Forces”, stated Loïc Piedevache, Country HeadIndia, MBDA.
Khanderi, the second of Kalvari- class submarines, was launched in Mumbai on 12 January 2017 and is undergoing several phases of sea trials. All the remaining submarines are in different stages of construction and will be delivered at the rate of “at least one every 12 months.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the casing of INS Kalvari
PM Inspecting the Guard of Honour