Kalvari Scorpene Class Submarine gives boost to Make In India

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Kalvari, the first of the Scorpene class submarines, built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd Mumbai (MDL), went to sea for the first time recently. The submarine sailed out at about 10 am under her own propulsion for the first sea trial, off the Mumbai coast and during the sortie, completed a number of preliminary tests on the propulsion system, Auxiliary Equipment and Systems, Navigation Aids, Communication Equipment and Steering gear.

Various Standard Operating Procedures were also validated for this new class of submarines. The submarine then returned to harbour in the evening.


This important milestone was achieved by MDL after overcoming a number of challenges faced since launching of the submarine last year in October. During the next few months, the submarine will undergo a barrage of sea trials, including surface trials, diving trials, weapon trials, Noise trials etc. which would test the submarine to the extremes of its intended operating envelop.

Thereafter she would be commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Kalvari later this year. Commissioning of Kalvari will be a re-affirmation of India's capability to build submarines and a major boost for the 'Make in India' programme of the government.

Leveraging on the experience and the transfer-of-technology of the Scorpene project, and with the enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, MDL is ready for undertaking future submarine and shipbuilding projects, in order to meet the growing requirements of National Security.

The ongoing project for the construction of six Scorpene class submarines, has M/s DCNS of France, as Collaborator and includes 'Transfer of Technology', with M/s MDL as the 'Builder'.

Operational Features

The state-of-art features of the Scorpene include superior stealth and the ability to 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. The Stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.

The Scorpene Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres including the Tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. 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.

Construction Features

Submarines are built from special steel, capable of withstanding high yield stress and having high tensile strength, thereby allowing them to withstand high hydrostatic force and enabling them to dive deeper to further enhance stealth.

The Submarine is built according to the principle of Modular Construction, which 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. Further, the stringent tolerances laid down for the construction of the Scorpene were indeed a challenge, but have been successfully achieved.

Other Features

The Scorpene is 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 the Scorpene are managed by a high technology Combat Management System, which integrates various diverse systems fitted onboard into One Formidable Whole.

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