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Indian Navy commissions third Scorpene-class submarine INS Karanj

With these Scorpene-class submarines, India is now a member of an exclusive group of submarine-building nations
Last Updated : 10 March 2021, 09:46 IST
Last Updated : 10 March 2021, 09:46 IST
Last Updated : 10 March 2021, 09:46 IST
Last Updated : 10 March 2021, 09:46 IST

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The third of the potent and stealth Scorpene-class submarines – INS Karanj was commissioned in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy in presence of Admiral Karambir Singh, the Chief of Naval Staff and Admiral (Retd) V S Shekhawat at an impressive ceremony at the Naval Dockyard here.

Admiral Shekhawat, a former Chief of the Naval Staff, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony.

INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Command’s submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Indian Navy’s sword arm’s arsenal.

The two submarines of this class that are currently in service are INS Khandari and INS Kalvari, commissioned on December 14, 2017, and September 28, 2019, respectively.

The fourth submarine Vela was launched on May 6, 2019, and it has commenced the sea trials, while the fifth submarine Vagir, was launched on 12 November 2020 and has commenced its harbour sea trials.

Vela and Vagir are expected to be commissioned in December 2021 and December 2022, respectively.

The sixth submarine Vagsheer is presently in the advanced stage of outfitting.

The six submarines are designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and are being manufactured by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.

A crew of the erstwhile ‘Karanj’, a Russian origin Foxtrot Class Submarine, which was decommissioned in 2003, were also special invitees for the ceremony.

“This impetus to indigenisation and 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' is a fundamental tenet of Indian Navy’s growth story and future operational capabilities," said Admiral Singh.

Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s push towards 'Atmanirbharta' by saying, “We live in an India launching numerous satellites, building nuclear submarines, manufacturing vaccines for the worlds - the new Karanj is another example of it.”

This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Old INS Karanj, commissioned on September 4, 1969, at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took an active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr VS Shekhawat. In recognition of the valiant action of its officers and crew, personnel were decorated, including an award of Vir Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Cdr VS Shekhawat. Interestingly, the commissioning Commanding Officer of the old INS Karanj Cdr MNR Samant, later on, became the first Chief of The Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in the year 1971.

The Scorpene or Kalvari-class submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface.

The induction of Karanj is another step towards the Indian Navy, consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as also is a reflection of MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard of the world. Project-75 also marks a critical milestone in the Yard’s continued importance in the field of defence production.

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Published 10 March 2021, 03:57 IST

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