All you need to know about first Scorpene submarine Kalvari

Written by: Our Defence Bureau

Indian Navy's defence preparedness received a huge boost when the home-grown Kalvari, the first of the Scorpene class submarines, hit the sea for the first time on May 1, off the Mumbai coast.

The submarine was 'floated out' or 'undocked on April 6 this year by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The submarine is being built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) under the Project 75, in collaboration with DCNS, France.

Scorpene submarine Kalvari

During her maiden sea sortie, Kalvari completed a number of preliminary tests on the propulsion system, auxiliary equipment and systems, navigation aids, communication equipment and steering gear.

Kalvari is expected to be commissioned by the end of this year. Here are some key factors you need to know about Indian Navy's prestigious submarine project.

Next set of challenges

In the next few months, the submarine will undergo a barrage of sea trials, including surface, diving, weapon and noise trials. This would test the submarine to the extremes of its intended operating envelop.

Once these pre-commissioning tests are done, the submarine would be ready to join the Indian naval fleet. On commissioning, it would take the name INS Kalvari, and the event would be a re-affirmation of India's capability to build submarines. This would also give a major impetus to 'Make in India' programme.

Scorpene submarine Kalvari: Explained

Operational features of the submarine

It is designed to operate in all theatres including the tropics. It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine i.e anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance etc.

All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a naval task force.

With its superior stealth capability, it can launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes, as well as tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface.

It can undertake multifarious types of missions

Some of the key construction features

Kalvari is built according to the principle of modular construction. It involves dividing the submarine into a number of sections and building them parallelly. The equipment is mounted onto cradles and then embarked into the sections. The complexity of the task increases exponentially as it involves laying of around 60 kms of cabling and 11 kms of piping in extremely congested and limited space inside the submarine.

The submarine is also equipped with Weapons Launching Tubes (WLT), and can carry weapons on board which can be easily reloaded at sea, through special handling and loading equipment.

The array of weapons and complex sensors fitted on board are managed by a high technology Combat Management System, which integrates various diverse systems fitted onboard into One Formidable Whole.

A look back at Kalvari, the Tiger Shark

A look back at Kalvari, the Tiger Shark

Kalvari is the dreaded Tiger Shark, a deadly deep sea predator. As is the tradition, ships and submarines of the Navy, are brought alive after decommissioning. The first Kalvari, which was also the first Indian submarine, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 8, 1967. She was decommissioned on May 31, 1996 after almost 30 years of service.

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