Second Scorpene-class Submarine to be Commissioned in 6 Months

Indian Navy
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New Delhi: In a further boost to the country’s sea power, the second Scorpene-class submarine INS Khanderi that has superior stealth and other major combat capabilities will be commissioned into service by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Mumbai on September 28, Indian Navy said.

The Vice Chief of the Naval Staff (VCNS), Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar, said that INS Nilgiri, the first ship of the the P-17A frigates would be launched on the occasion and an aircraft carrier drydock would be inaugurated by the minister.

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He said with the commissioning of ‘Khanderi’ and launch of ‘Nilgiri’, the combat potential of Navy will “go up manyfold”.

Also, the aircraft carrier drydock, housed within the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, is capable of docking India’s largest ship, INS Vikramaditya, and has the ability to maintain ships for decades to come, Kumar said.

“The three events lined up for September 28 are in line with our Prime Minister’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region),” Kumar told reporters.

INS Khanderi, the second Scorpene-class submarine that can attack with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles whilst underwater or on surface, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai in January 2017.

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“After commissioning of Khanderi and launch of Nilgiri by Defence Minister’s wife and inauguration of the drydock on September 28, the minister has plans for spending a day at sea with navy onboard INS Vikramaditya.

“That will be on September 28 evening and forenoon of September 29. He will witness all naval actions including missile firing and various other exercises at sea before disembarking and returning to Delhi,” the vice chief of Navy said.

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Kumar said any ship or submarine building is a huge challenge involving technological challenges and the complexity of the platform means a number of MSMEs and other companies are involved in ensuring successful completion of its construction.

“This has a huge plough back effect on our economy and in fact, at present our 51 ships are under construction in various shipyards in India and abroad and 49 of these are with Indian shipyards,” he added.

On the delays in commissioning of the submarine, Kumar said, certain amount of delays and learning in the process are “completely acceptable” and what is important is that these submarines are fully combat capable when being delivered to the Navy.

The cost of the Scorpene project now stands at around Rs 25,000 crore, while the cost of the seven frigates under P-17A is over Rs 48,000 crore, according to senior Navy officials.

Asked about the issues faced by ‘Khanderi’, Kumar said all those “have been resolved” and certain sea acceptance trials are going and “we expect those to be completed before commissioning”.

The stealth features will give it an invulnerability, unmatched by many submarines.

The 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.