India commissions fifth Kalvari-class submarine with expanded local content

by Prathamesh Karle

The Indian Navy commissioned its fifth Kalvari-class submarine, INS Vagir , on 23 January at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. (Janes/Prathamesh Karle)

The Indian Navy has commissioned the fifth of its six Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs).

The submarine, INS Vagir (S 25), was inducted in a ceremony on 23 January held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. All the Kalvari (Scorpène)-class SSKs are licence-built by state-owned Mazagon Dockyard Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai in collaboration with France's Naval Group. Vagir joins four other Kalvari-class submarines in the service's Western Naval Command.

Vice Admiral (retd) Narayan Prasad, chairman and managing director of MDL, said at the commissioning that while the new submarine shares a common structure with the four other commissioned boats, Vagir is equipped with more systems built in India. Such items include the boat's main batteries and a Ku-band satellite communications system produced by Electronics Corporation of India Limited, he said.

Prasad also said that MDL has expanded efforts to reduce the submarine's acoustic, optical, electromagnetic, and infrared signatures, but did not elaborate.

MDL had not responded to Janes questions at the time of publication.

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Irish Naval Service opts to mothball Roisin-class OPVs due to manning issues

by Kate Tringham

The Irish Naval Service has decided to place its two 1,700 tonne Róisín (PV 80)-class OPVs into operational reserve as a result of ongoing staffing shortages. (Irish Navy)

The Irish Naval Service (INS) has been forced to mothball its two Róisín (PV 80)-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) as a result of ongoing recruitment and retention issues.

An Irish Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson confirmed to Janes that LÉ Róisín (P 51) was placed into operational reserve with effect from 31 January and that LÉ Niamh (P 52) would be placed into operational reserve on the completion of its mid-life upgrade (MLU) later this year.

“The decision to place LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh into operational reserve is aimed at stabilising operational delivery and assisting in the Naval Service regeneration, which entails the prioritisation of personnel training and development of existing INS personnel,” the spokesperson said. “LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh will remain in operational reserve until such time as the Naval Service has sufficiently regenerated suitably qualified and experienced personnel.”

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US Navy cannibalises more ships to make up for part shortfalls

by Michael Fabey

Aircraft carrier combat-system part shortfalls are forcing the US Navy to cannibalise parts from other Nimitz-class ships (Michael Fabey)

The US Navy (USN) is cannibalising ships more often than in previous years to make up for part shortfalls and meet operational commitments, according to a recent report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“With the exception of fiscal year (FY) 2017, the average number of cannibalisations per ship increased every year from 2015 to 2021,” the GAO said in its report Weapon System Sustainment: Navy Ship Usage Has Decreased as Challenges and Costs Have Increased, released 31 January.

“We asked navy officials what drove these increases, and they told us ship cannibalisations often occur due to supply chain shortfalls for specific parts,” the GAO reported.

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Harland & Wolff signs subcontract with Navantia UK for FSS

by Kate Tringham

While some of the building work for the new FSS vessels will take place at Navantia's shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, the majority of the blocks and modules will be built at Harland & Wolff's facilities in Belfast and Appledore. (Team Resolute)

Belfast-based shipbuilder Harland & Wolff has signed a manufacturing subcontract with Navantia UK for work to be delivered under the UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Fleet Solid Support Ship (FSS) programme.

The manufacturing subcontract, announced by Harland & Wolff on 1 February, is worth an estimated GBP700–800 million (USD862–985 million) through the life of the programme, amounting to around half the value of the total FSS contract.

The Team Resolute consortium – led by prime contractor Navantia UK, a subsidiary of Spanish state-owned shipbuilder Navantia, and including Harland & Wolff and BMT – was awarded a GBP1.6 billion contract to deliver the three-ship FSS programme on 18 January 2023 after being selected as the preferred bidder in November 2022.

Construction on the new ships is planned to begin in 2025, and all three ships are expected to be operational by 2032.

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The Indian Navy has commissioned the fifth of its six Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric attac...

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