‘Tiger Shark’ INS Kalvari Finally Gets Commissioned

Story highlights

  • Indian Navy on Thursday commissioned its most modern and silent conventional submarine INS Kalvari
  • Kalvari has got an overall length of 67.5 meters and has got a height of about 12.3 meters, and is capable of undertaking offensive operations spanning across the entire spectrum of maritime warfare

Indian Navy on Thursday commissioned its most modern and silent conventional submarine INS Kalvari after a long and much delayed gap of two decades. It is the first of the six Scorpene class submarines that are being indigenously built with French collaboration. The project is being delayed because of the cost overruns. The ace submarine Kalvari was first scheduled to be commissioned five years back, in the year 2012 and the last one of the six submarines was scheduled to be inducted into the fleet this year.

The name ‘Kalvari’ means Tiger Shark in Malayalam. Kalvari is known to be an asset to the Indian Navy and it is celebrating the golden jubilee of the submarine arm this year. Kalvari is named after India’s first submarine, a Foxtrot class submarine of erstwhile the Soviet Union commissioned which was commissioned in December 1967, is considered to be not just an attack weapon in the blue waters but also has got a huge deterrent capability.

It must be noted that India currently operates 13 conventional submarines and at any point in time, only about 6 remain in the operation. India has jumped on an ambitions submarine project. According to the current 30-year plan, which is scheduled to end in the year 2030, India has got plans to build 24 submarines which are going to be the mixture of conventional and nuclear qualities.

INS Kalvari. Image Source: World of Weapon

The former Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar had rued over the current submarine project for which the budget is low and also had emphasized on the need to have a larger number of submarines in the arsenal. One more project on which India is working, P75 I project under which six new conventional submarines are to be built indigenously. But the programme is yet to be initiated as the RFP for the project is still stuck.

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Kalvari has got an overall length of 67.5 metres and has got a height of about 12.3 metres, and is capable of undertaking offensive operations spanning across the entire spectrum of maritime warfare. It also embodies the cutting edge technology and stands in the row of the best submarines around the globe. Considering its engineering aspects, hull form, the fin, and the hydroplanes have been specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance. Kalvari’s 360 battery cells (each weighing 750 kg) are designed and engineered to power the extremely silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. The stealth mode of Kalvari is unmatchable and is further enhanced through the mounting of equipment inside the pressure hull on shock absorbing cradles.

PM Modi flagged the submarine. Photo Credit: The Republic

The Tiger Shark is armed with heavy weight torpedoes and Exocet anti-ship missiles (French built missiles). The submarine is capable of launching torpedoes both while submerged or on the surface.  The submarine’s undersea warfare capability is unmatchable, comprises a cluster of advanced weapons and sensors integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS). Its sonar suite is Low Frequency Analysis and Ranging (LOFAR) which is capable of enabling long-range detection and classification.

The warfare techniques used in the submarine are magnificent. Its attack and search periscopes are equipped with Infrared/ Low Light Level cameras and Laser Range finders. There are two 1250 kW MAN Diesel Engines for charging the batteries quickly. The submarine has been awarded with highly advanced Combat Management System and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System.

As per the official reports, the submarine was first supposed to get the Black Shark heavy weight torpedos, but the last minute changes had to be taken into action for the fire and control system to enable it to fire the SUT, which is already in Indian inventory. The Navy is now going to issue a fresh RFP for heavy weight torpedos as the last attempt to get Black Sharks didn’t turn out in the favour because of the corruption charges against the parent company Finmeccanica in the VVIP chopper deal.

INS Khanderi, the second Scorpene submarine is currently undergoing trials and would get into the fleet very soon.

(News Input from The Republic)

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