Navy to induct two submarines

Navy to induct two submarines

After years of operating with sub-optimal strength, the submarine arm of the Indian Navy is set to induct two brand new submarines in the next 12 months, while starting the trial for the third one.

The first two Scorpene class submarines – to be named INS Kalvari and INS Khanderi – are likely to be commissioned this year, while the third, INS Vela, would be released into water for trial by the end of 2017, Rear Admiral Mohit Gupta, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff in charge of submarines, said here on Friday.

While Kalvari has almost finished its trials, Khanderi was released into water last week, paving the way for the sea trial.

Six French-origin Scorpene submarines are under construction in a Rs 18,798-crore project at the Mazgaon dock under technology transfer from DCNS.

Their delivery date is more than three years behind the original schedule.
All of them are likely to be in service by 2020.

Delay in project
After an initial setback, the submarine project was delayed further owing to the unavailability of torpedoes following the involvement of the weapon’s supplier Finmeccanica in a defence scam relating to the purchase of VVIP helicopters for the Indian Air Force.

To tide over the crisis, the navy has now decided to arm the new submarines with torpedoes from its existing stock as the defence ministry’s decision to purchase new torpedoes from a foreign vendor would be time consuming.

“We will commission them fully armed,” said an officer.

“Once inducted, these submarines would form the core of the navy’s conventional submarine arm,” said Gupta. India currently operates 13 old diesel-electric submarines and two nuclear-powered ones. Four of the 13 boats would be refitted to increase their service life.

On the contrary, China is reported to have close to 80 submarines, including more than 10 nuclear-powered ones, some of which have begun to dock at Pakistani ports, triggering concerns in India.

The Indian Navy’s submarine arm gathers strength at a time when a top US commander publicly aired his worries on China flexing its military muscles in the Indian Ocean region.
“India should be concerned about the increasing.

Chinese influence in the region,” Admiral Harry Harris, commander of the US Pacific Command, said here on Wednesday.

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