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Second Kalvari class submarine Khanderi to be launched on Thursday

Khanderi, the second submarine of the Kalvari Class, will be launched at the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) here on Thursday.
India TV News Desk Mumbai January 09, 2017 19:30 IST
India TV News Desk

Khanderi, the second submarine of the Kalvari Class, will be launched at the Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) here on Thursday, an official said today.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre will preside over the function to initiate the launch of Khanderi at Yard 11876.

The launch will start a trail of events, which will lead to the separation of the submarine from the pontoon on which it is being assembled and its final setting afloat, an official release said. 

"India is among few countries in the world which produces conventional submarines. Six submarines are being built at MDL in collaboration with M/s DCNS of France, as a part of Project 75 of Indian Navy. The first submarine of the class (Kalvari) is completing its sea trials and will be commissioned shortly into the Indian Navy," the release said. 

Indian Navy's Submarine arm will complete 50 years on December 8 this year. Submarine Day is celebrated every year to commemorate the birth of the submarine arm with induction of the first submarine, erstwhile INS Kalvari, into the Indian Navy on December 8, 1967, it said. 

India joined the exclusive group of submarine constructing nations on February 7, 1992, with the commissioning of the first Indian-built submarine, INS Shalki. 

MDL built this submarine and went on to commission another submarine, INS Shankul on May 28, 1994. These submarines are still in service today. 

Khanderi is named after the Island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century, the release said. 

The first submarine of the Kalvari Class - built by MDL in collaboration with France's DCNS as part of Project 75 - is currently completing its sea trials and is due to be commissioned into the Indian Navy soon.

The state-of-the-art feature of the Scorpene include superior stealth and ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons.

The attacks can be carried out with torpedoes, tube-launched anti-ship missiles both while underwater or on surface in all theatres including the tropics, giving it invulnerability unmatched by many other submarines.

It can undertake multifarious missions like anti-surface and anti-submarine warfares, intelligence gathering, mine-laying, area surveillance, etc, that are typically undertaken by any modern submarine.

The Khanderi has been built on the "modular construction" technique, which divided it into several sections and outfitting them concurrently, a complex task involving laying kms of cabling and piping in extremely congested compartments.

All the equipment have been installed in the submarine with 95 percent cabling and piping completed while processes like pressure testing, setting-to-work and commissioner of various systems are currently underway and continue after it is launched.

The most important safety milestone of "vacuum testing" was completed in the very first attempt on a single day, January 5 (last Thursday), matching the record of Kalvari which also completed it in one shot - a feat unmatched in submarine construction history.

Till December, the submarine will undergo rigorous tests and trials in harbor and at sea, on surface and underwater, testing each system to its fullest capacity, before she would be commissioned into the Indian Navy as "INS Khanderi".

Prior to that, the Kalvari is scheduled to be commissioned and the remaining four Scorpene submarines shall follow suit every nine months.

Incidentally, as per Indian Navy traditions, ships and submarines are brought "live" again after decommissioning.

Accordingly, the first ship "Khanderi" was commissioned on December 6, 1968 and decommissioned in October 1989, before being "reincarnated" by MDL as a powerful predator of the deep waters, guarding the vast maritime interests and territories of India.

The launch of Khanderi also marks a generational shift in technology for submarine construction in India and operations by the Indian Navy.

MDL has witnessed a huge modernization of the submarine construction facilities, a world-class Composite Naval Submarine Crew Training facility, a 2000-ton hydraulic press, a 100-bar High Press Test facility, a new Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin, a new Module Shop with a retractable roof, a towering 300-ton Goliath crane to assemble warships, and others would enhance the MDL's ability to build quality submarines on time.

The MDL's jewel in the crown is the new submarine assembly shop spread over 10,000 sqm which can enable it take up concurrent construction of two submarine production lines, adding upto 12 submarines under various stages of construction at any point of time.

(With agencies)