Kalvari-class submarine (2015)

The Kalvari class is a class of diesel-electric attack submarines based on the Scorpène-class submarine being built for the Indian Navy. The class and submarines take their names from the first submarines inducted in the Indian Navy. The submarines are designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS and are being manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.

INS Kalvari during sea trials
Class overview
Name: Kalvari class
Builders: Mazagon Dock Limited
Operators:  Indian Navy
Preceded by: Sindhughosh class
Succeeded by: Project 75I-class submarine
In commission: 2017 – present
Planned: 6[1]
Building: 2
Completed: 4
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: Attack submarine
  • Surfaced: 1,615 tonnes (1,780 short tons)
  • Submerged: 1,775 tonnes (1,957 short tons)
Length: 67.5 m (221 ft)[2]
Beam: 6.2 m (20 ft)[3]
Height: 12.3 m (40 ft)[2]
Draught: 5.8 m (19 ft)[3]
  • 4 x MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines[3]
  • 360 x battery cells
  • Surfaced: 11 kn (20 km/h)
  • Submerged: 20 kn (37 km/h)
  • 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h) (surfaced)
  • 550 nmi (1,020 km) at 4 kn (7.4 km/h) (submerged)[4]
Endurance: 50 days[5]
Test depth: 350 metres (1,150 ft) [6]
  • 8 officers
  • 35 sailors
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
C303/S anti-torpedo countermeasure system[7]

Project history

In 1997, Indian Ministry of Defence approved a plan to acquire 24 submarines under Project 75. In 1998, India began negotiating with DCN for four Scorpène submarines with two to be built in Mazagon Dock Limited from knocked-down kits.[8] After the Kargil War in 1999, Cabinet Committee on Security approved a 30-year submarine building plan that called for two parallel production lines, each constructing six submarines. The older Project 75 was brought under the new plan, with the two production lines to be built under Project 75 and Project 75I using transfer of technology from different foreign manufacturers.[9] The negotiations were subsequently expanded to include Armaris, a joint venture of DCN and Thales, for six submarines to be built in Mazagon Dock Limited.[8]

On 6 October 2005, India signed a series of contracts for transfer of technology to construct six submarines in Mazagon Dock Limited with Armaris, supply of equipment and services with the Government of France and supply of SM39 Exocet missiles with MBDA. DCN International was designated as the prime contractor in partnership with Navantia. Armaris was responsible for supply of combat systems and technical advisors for construction of submarines at MDL. The entire programme was valued at €2.4 billion.[10] The deal included a 30% offset clause and the submarines were to be delivered over five years starting from 2012.[10][11] The Scorpène design won the deal because of the capability to fire Exocet anti-ship missiles and an agreement on the air-independent propulsion.[12] India cancelled plans to incorporate DRDO-developed air-independent propulsion system onto the last two submarines being built due to a delay in its development.[13] A plan to buy three more submarines under the options clause was cancelled in September 2016.[14]

Steel cutting for the first submarine began on 14 December 2006 and hull construction was started on 23 May 2007.[2][15] As of August 2014, the project was running four years behind schedule.[16] The delay has been attributed to slow finalisation of contracts for procurement of sensors and propulsion system components by Mazagon Dock Limited and DCNS.[17] The first submarine, INS Kalvari (Malayalam: tiger shark), was launched on 28 October 2015 and commenced sea trials on 1 May 2016.[2]

In June 2016, a plan to arm Kalvari-class submarines with 98 Black Shark torpedoes from WASS was cancelled in response to corruption allegations against WASS's sister company, AgustaWestland.[18][19] The defense minister Manohar Parikkar under the NDA government, said that the torpedoes for the submarine will be procured from other companies.[20] SeaHake torpedoes from Germany's Atlas Elektronik and France's F21 torpedoes may be considered.[21] Indigenous torpedoes under development by DRDO may also be used as replacements.[22] The submarines have been configured to fire Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes for the time being.[23]

Design and description

The Kalvari class is capable of offensive operations across the entire spectrum of naval warfare including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.[24] It has a length of 67.5 m (221 ft), height of 12.3 m (40 ft), overall beam of 6.2 m (20 ft) and a draught of 5.8 m (19 ft). It can reach a top speed of 20 kn (37 km/h) when submerged and a maximum speed of 11 kn (20 km/h) when surfaced. The submarine has a range of 6,500 nmi (12,000 km) at 8 kn (15 km/h) when surfaced.[3] Each ship is powered by four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines, has 360 battery cells (750 kg each), for power and has a silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. The hull, fin and hydroplanes are designed for minimum underwater resistance and all equipment inside the pressure hull is mounted on shock absorbing cradles for enhanced stealth.[2] Special steel was used in its construction which has high tensile strength, capable of withstanding high yield stress and hydro-static force. Each submarine has 60 km of cabling and 11 km of piping.[24] The class displaces 1,615 t (1,780 short tons) when surfaced and 1,775 t (1,957 short tons) when submerged.[23]

This class is equipped with six 533-mm torpedo tubes for a combination of 18 heavyweight wire-guided German-made Surface and Underwater Target (SUT) torpedoes and SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles or 30 mines in place of both.[25][26] The class is also fitted with mobile C303/S anti-torpedo decoys for self-defence.[19][2] The weapon systems and sensors are integrated with Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). It has a sonar system is capable of Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) enabling long range detection and classification.[2] Each submarine has a complement of 8 officers and 35 sailors.[27]

Ships of the class

The hull fabrication of all six submarines is now complete. The first submarine was commissioned on 14 December 2017 and the remaining boats are expected to be delivered by 2022.[28][29]

Name Pennant Yard Builder Launched Commissioned Homeport Status
INS Kalvari S21 11875 Mazagon Dock Limited 27 October 2015[2] 14 December 2017[30] Active
INS Khanderi S22[31] 11876 12 January 2017[32] 28 September 2019[33]
INS Karanj 11877[34] 31 January 2018[35] 2019 (expected)[36] In sea trials [36][37][38][39]
INS Vela[40] 11878[41] 6 May 2019[39] 2020 (expected)[29]
INS Vagir[40] 2021 (expected)[29] Under construction[37]
INS Vagsheer[40] 2022 (expected)[29]

See also


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  2. "Curtain Raiser : Kalvari to be Commissioned Tomorrow at Mumbai". pib.nic.in. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  3. Rahmat, Ridzwan (7 June 2017). "India's second Scorpène submarine begins sea trials". Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017.
  4. Commodore Stephen Saunders, ed. (2005). "India". Jane's Fighting Ships 2005-2006 (108th ed.). Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. p. 308. ISBN 0710626924.
  5. "India, France to ink Scorpene deal". The Times of India. PTI. 27 September 2005. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018.
  6. "Scorpene 1000". DCNS. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  7. Bedi, Rahul (31 January 2018). "India launches third Scorpène-class submarine". Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 2 February 2018.
  8. Saw, David (2005). "The World Submarine Situation". Armada International. Vol. 29 no. 6. Gurgaon: Media Transasia India Ltd. pp. 52–58. ISSN 0252-9793.
  9. Singh, Sushant (13 November 2015). "Explained: India's submarine story in deep waters, long way to go". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018.
  10. Mohanty, Deba (2006). "India and France Ink SCORPÈNE Deal". Military Technology. Vol. 30 no. 2. Bonne: Mönch Publishing Group. pp. 34–36. ISSN 0722-3226.
  11. "Envisaging more defence ties". The Hindu Business Line. 20 February 2006. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018.
  12. "Exocet Missiles, AIP Swing India Submarine Order". defense-aerospace.com. 13 September 2005. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
  13. Peri, Dinakar (19 June 2017). "Last two Scorpene submarines from Mazgaon Docks to join Navy without AIP system". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 June 2017.
  14. Miglani, Sanjeev (22 September 2016). "India shelves plan to expand French submarine order after data breach". Reuters. Archived from the original on 15 February 2018.
  15. Bhatt, Arunkumar (24 May 2007). "Scorpene construction work begins in Mumbai". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 April 2018.
  16. Pandit, Ranjat (28 August 2014). "Defence minister Arun Jaitley reviews delayed Scorpene submarine project". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 29 August 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  17. Bedi, Rahul (19 June 2013). "Indian Scorpene delivery faces further delays". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. 50 (28): 16. ISSN 2048-3430.
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  19. Bedi, Rahul (3 May 2016). "India's first Scorpene boat begins sea trials without primary weapons". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  20. "Manohar Parrikar interview: 'I believe in performance, not dressing up'". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  21. "India Has Alternative For Finmeccanica Torpedoes Says Parrikar". Businessworld.in. 29 May 2016. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  22. "DRDO gets nod to make torpedoes for Indian submarines". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  23. Bedi, Rahul (14 December 2017). "Indian Navy commissions first licence-built Scorpène-class submarine". Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017.
  24. "Maiden Sea Trial of Kalvari – First Scorpene Class Submarine". pib.nic.in. 1 May 2016. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  25. Bonsignore, Luca (2005). ""Carrera": The first real Spanish export-submarine floated". Naval Forces. Vol. 26 no. 1. Aldershot: Monch Publications. p. 135. ISSN 0722-8880. 18 torpedoes and missiles can be carried otherwise 30 mines.
  26. Dominguez, Gabriel (22 September 2017). "MDL delivers first of six Scorpène-class submarines to Indian Navy". Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on 28 December 2017.
  27. "Road to development in the 21st century goes through the Indian ocean – Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister". pib.nic.in. Archived from the original on 15 December 2017. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
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