- The third Indian Kalvari-class submarine entirely Made in India based on Scorpene® design
- Indian Navy’s Project 75 achieves AatmaNirbharta
Mumbai 10 March 2021. Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj has been commissioned today at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai through a formal commissioning ceremony. It is totally built by Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) based on the French Scorpene® design.
Six Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France. INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Command’s arsenal.
Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and MoD were amongst the several dignitaries who witnessed the commissioning ceremony. Crew of the erstwhile ‘Karanj’, a Russian origin Foxtrot Class Submarine which was decommissioned in 2003 were also special invitees for the ceremony. During his address, the CNS said “this impetus to Indigenisation & AatmaNirbharBharat is a fundamental tenet of Indian Navy’s growth story and future operational capabilities”.
The Chief Guest Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s push towards AatmaNirbharta by saying “we live in an India launching numerous satellites, building nuclear submarines, manufacturing vaccines for the worlds – the new Karanj is another example of it”. Admiral VS Shekhawat PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Retd), former Chief of the Naval Staff, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 Indo – Pak war, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony.
This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of 1971 Indo – Pak war. Old INS Karanj, commissioned on 04 Sep 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr VS Shekhawat. In recognition of the valiant action of her oﬃcers and crew, a number of personnel were decorated, including award of Vir Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Cdr VS Shekhawat. Interestingly, the commissioning Commanding Officer of the old INS Karanj Cdr MNR Samant later on became the first Chief of The Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in the year 1971.
The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface.
The induction of Karanj is another step towards the Indian Navy, consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as also is a reflection of MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard of the world. Project – 75 also marks a critical milestone in the Yard’s continued importance in the field of Defence Production.
The event highlights the success of indigenous submarines construction programme of the Government of India. This submarine has been completely built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) with limited external support, taking advantage of the successful technology transfer from Naval Group during the construction and trials of the first two boats. This series of six submarines have been fitted with a number of equipment, built in India by qualified and highly trained industrial Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which form the sound base of submarine building ecosystem of India.
“Naval Group is very proud to be part of first of its kind P75 Kalvari program to deliver entirely ”Made in India” submarines to the Indian Navy. This program is a major element of the strategic autonomy enjoyed by the Indo-French partnership and strategic autonomy, developed over the last decades. The commissioning of INS Karanj, amidst Covid-19 challenges, represents one of its kind industrial milestones and illustrates the Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) of Indian Navy and naval defence industry. I look forward to establishing greater and more meaningful partnerships with Indian industry that will help in sustainability of our global supply chain and industrial footprint, while allowing us to be part of success story of Indian economy, community”, mentioned Pierre-Eric Pommellet, CEO & Chairman of Naval Group.
The rise in competencies that Indian industry and shipyard achieved during the past decade is very inspiring. This precious and high-value expertise and skillsets built around the program needs to be preserved, nurtured and improved with on-going/ future contracts so that Indian naval defence industry can seamlessly cater to military products of similar or advanced nature for India and also for the world.