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India moves closer towards procuring more Kalvari SSKs

INS Karanj , the Indian Navy's third of six Kalvari-class submarines. The service may soon procure three more vessels in the class. (Ministry of Defence, Government of India)

The Indian Navy has edged closer towards acquiring another three Kalvari (Scorpene)-class diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) now that the plan has been endorsed by a defence ministry decision making body.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 13 July that its Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted the procurement with an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) status.

The Indian Navy presently operates a class of five Kalvari-class SSKs that were inducted between December 2017 and January 2023. The service is anticipating the commissioning of a sixth boat, which was launched by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in April 2022.

The 1,700-tonne vessels were built under a licensed production arrangement between MDL and French shipbuilder Naval Group. Once a contract materialises, the three additional SSKs will be constructed fully in-country by MDL.

β€œThe procurement of additional submarines, with higher indigenous content, will not only help in maintaining required force level and operational readiness of the Indian Navy, but also create significant employment opportunities in the domestic sector,” reads the MoD statement on 13 July. β€œIt will also help the MDL in further enhancing its capability and expertise in submarine construction,” the statement added.

Besides the SSKs, the DAC has also granted an AoN for the procurement of 26 Rafale M carrier-based fighter aircraft.

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