INS Kalvari, the first modern conventional submarine has been inducted into the Indian Navy on Thursday after much delay of around five years. The submarine was originally scheduled for the induction in the middle of this year but its commissioning was delayed for another six to seven months.
The objective was to have the platform ready for operational deployment with its weapons by the time it gets commissioned by the Prime Minister, as was then insisted by the senior functionaries. The reason being, to prove the readiness of the platform for operational deployment, the Navy borrowed the torpedoes of another class of submarines having them fired three months in advance, said sources.
The cancellation of a tender to procure the weapons from the scam-tainted Finmeccanica group of Italy, now called as Leonardo, has resulted in long delays for the Navy to attain heavyweight torpedoes for the Scorpenes, to be known as Kalavari class.
The sources have informed that the limitations of heavyweight torpedoes had led the Navy into using the weapons from another line of submarines and fuse them into INS Kalavari.
“The integration of the torpedoes is still going on but the main weapon for Kalvari would only be the new heavyweight torpedo for which a multi-vendor competition is going to be initiated in the near future,” a source said.
The nuclear submarine fleet of the Navy will also witness the deployment of the heavyweight torpedoes for Kalvari with the boats of the Arihant Class nuclear powered submarines.
During the commissioning of INS Kalvari, in Mumbai, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended the Navy appreciating their efforts and importance during disaster management to countering piracy.
“Be it terrorism via sea, piracy, drug smuggling or illegal fishing, India is playing an important role in combating them. I call it SAGAR — security and growth for all in the region,” he said.
The submarine is being built by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai as part of Project-75 of the Navy. Designed by the French, Kalvari is the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines that will be handed over to the Navy to be followed by five more submarines each having a gap of nine months.
Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing the people gathered said, “Peace in Indian Ocean, which is the lifeline of global trade is better off with INS Kalvari.”