INS Karanj at its glory
INS Karanj at its glory
  • 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

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.

CNS showing the way to Admiral Shekhawat Chief Guest
CNS showing the way to Admiral Shekhawat Chief Guest

 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.

Naval Dockyard Mumbai

 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.

Vice Adm Narayan Prasad, Retd, CMD of Mazagon Dock limited handing
Vice Adm Narayan Prasad, Retd, CMD of Mazagon Dock limited handing over a memento to Adm Karambir Singh, CNS inside the Submarine

“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.

Naval Dockyard Mumbai

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.