India launches third Scorpene submarine ‘Karanj’

Indian shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) launched the third Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarine for the Indian Navy at its shipyard on January 31.

The submarine was named ‘Karanj’ and was launched by Mrs Reena Lanba, President Navy Wives Welfare Association.

The launch ceremony was attended by the Indian Navy chief, Admiral Sunil Lamba, in addition to defense ministry and French DGA representatives.

After launch, the submarine was towed to Mumbai Port Trust, for separation from the pontoon. Karanj will now undergo trials and tests, both in harbour and at sea before it is commissioned into the Navy.

India’s MDL is building a total of six submarines in the class under a transfer of technology agreement with France’s Naval Group.

During his address, Admiral Sunil Lanba, CNS, said that the launch of Karanj marked a significant departure from the manning and training philosophy that was adopted for the first two submarines and added that from third submarine onwards the Navy would be fully self reliant in training and certification processes. He also mentioned that the old Karanj had served the nation for 34 years from 1969 to 2003 including participation in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971.

Scorpene-class (also known as Kalvari-class) submarines are 67.5 meters long with a height of about 12.3 meters. They are fitted with 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg) powering the permanently magnetised propulsion motor.

The boats are equipped with the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS), sea skimming SM 39 Exocet missiles (Flying Fish in French) or the heavy weight wire guided Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes. Kalvari is also fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys.

INS Kalvari, the lead Scorpene class submarine was commissioned December 14, 2017. The second boat, Khanderi, was launched in January 2017, and is currently undergoing sea trials and is also scheduled to be delivered shortly.