India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has launched the third of six Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) being licence-built for the Indian Navy (IN).
Named Karanj , the 67.6 m-long boat entered the water on 31 January at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, and is expected to be delivered to the IN in 2019. The submarine follows INS Kalvari , which was commissioned in December 2017, and Khanderi , which is slated to enter service in mid-2018 after completing sea trials.
The three remaining submarines under the INR235.62 (USD3.69 billion) Project 75 programme will be commissioned by 2020-21, said IN officials.
Karanj , which displaces 1,615 tonnes when surfaced and 1,775 tonnes when submerged, incorporates advanced acoustic quieting systems to ensure stealth. The SSK is capable of carrying out anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine-laying and surveillance.
Like the two previous boats of the class, Karanj will be equipped with Exocet SM39 sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, C303/S anti-torpedo countermeasure systems, and German-built SUT-series torpedoes, the latter of which will eventually be replaced with heavyweight torpedoes.
The IN’s Scorpène-class boats were initially configured to receive Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes from Italy’s Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (WASS), but the deal to acquire 98 of these was terminated in May 2016 following corruption allegations.
Official sources said responses from four overseas heavyweight torpedo manufacturers are presently under IN consideration, adding that a tender is likely to be issued later this year.
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