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First India-built Scorpene class submarine 'Kalvari' undergoes sea trials

03 May 2016

'Kalvari', the first of the Scorpene class submarines, built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd Mumbai (MDL), took to sea for the first time on Sunday, using her own propulsion system for the first time.

During the sea trial, conducted off the Mumbai coast, the vessel 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 returned to harbour in the evening.

The submarine being built at Mumbai's Mazagon Docks achieved this important milestone after overcoming a number of challenges faced since launching of the submarine in October last year. 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, a defence ministry release stated.

`Kalveri' is the culmination of joint efforts by teams from MDL, Indian Navy and DCNS working round-the-clock. With the first sea sortie of Kalvari, MDL has achieved a major project milestone.

MDL, which leverages on the experience and the transfer of French technology of the Scorpene project and an enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, is ready for undertaking future submarine and shipbuilding projects.

Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd commissioned the first India-built submarine, INS Shalki, on February 1992. Mazagon Docks then went on to commission another submarine, INS Shankul, on 28 May 1994. These submarines are still in service today, after more than 20 years.

The Scorpene project for the construction of six submarines, has DCNS of France as collaborator and technology provider with /s MDL as the builder.

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.

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 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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