‘Kalvari’, the first of the Scorpene class submarines being built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) here, went to sea for the first time today.
The submarine sailed out at about 1000 hours under her own propulsion for the first sea trial, off the Mumbai coast.
During the sortie, a number of number of preliminary tests on the propulsion system, auxiliary equipment and systems, navigation aids, communication equipment and steering gear were completed, an official press release said. Various standard operating procedures were also validated for this new class of submarines.
The submarine then returned to the harbour in the evening, the release said.
"This important milestone was achieved by MDL after overcoming a number of challenges faced since launching of the submarine last year in October," it said.
During the next few months, the submarine will undergo a barrage of sea trials, including surface trials, diving trials, weapon trials, noise trials, and so on, which would test it to the extremes of its intended operating envelope. 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," the release said.
The release said 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.
India joined the exclusive group of submarine constructing nations on February 7, 1992, with the commissioning of the first Indian built submarine, INS Shalki, built by MDL.
MDL then went on to commission another submarine, INS Shankul, on 28 May, 1994. These submarines are still in service today.
The ongoing project for the construction of six Scorpene class submarines, has DCNS of France, as collaborator and includes transfer of technology, with MDL as the ‘builder’.
The release said 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, it said.
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 such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, and so on.
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.
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 8 December 1967. She was decommissioned on 31 May 1996. She will now be re-incarnated, by Mazagon Dock.
"The commissioning of Yard 11875 (Kalvari), will not only mark a generational shift in technology, insofar as submarine construction in India is concerned, but also for submarine operations by the Indian Navy," the release added.