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Second Scorpene submarine ready

NEW ASSET:The first submarine INS Kalvari is likely to be inducted into the Navy by the middle of this year.— FILE PHOTO: AFPHO

NEW ASSET:The first submarine INS Kalvari is likely to be inducted into the Navy by the middle of this year.— FILE PHOTO: AFPHO  

Khanderi, the second Scorpene submarine under Project-75 being built at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai is all set to be launched into water later this week.

Meanwhile, the first submarine Kalvari is close to completing sea trials and likely to be inducted into the Navy by the middle of this year.

Six Scorpene submarines are being built with assistance and technology transfer from DCNS and others of France and under a $3.75-billion deal signed in October 2005.

The submarines are being built using modular approach in which different sections are built separately and later assembled on a pontoon. “Once the assembly is complete it will be launched into water. The launch means all equipment is in place,” a senior Navy officer said.

Khanderi, named after the Island fort of Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji, was supposed to have been launched in December last year but was slightly delayed.

“After the launch, the batteries will be commissioned, the submarine will be fuelled and machinery will be started so that it powers up on its own,” the officer stated.

It is scheduled to be commissioned into the Navy in December 2017. The other four submarines are expected to roll out at intervals of nine months. After a series of delays in the project, the first submarine Kalvari was launched in April last year and was expected to be commissioned by year end.

Earlier when a submarine was through 80 per cent of its sea trials it was inducted and the Navy took charge of the remaining trials.

However, the government has now changed the policy stating that the induction would be done once after the platform is fully ready.

Data leak

The infamous 22,400-page data leak pertaining to Scorpene submarines in Australia has also put a shadow on the programme even before they joined the force. However, the Navy has asserted that the leak was not serious.

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had said on the occasion of the Navy Day last December that they would conduct a joint investigation with France and if it was felt necessary some modifications could be undertaken in the submarines.

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