Scorpene submarine programme makes progress

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The second Scorpene submarine Khanderi is expected to complete sea trials by the middle of this year, while the fourth and the fifth submarines, under construction at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai, are expected to be assembled later this year.

Highlights

• The Scorpene class is the Navy’s first modern conventional submarine series in almost two decades since INS Sindhushastra which was procured from Russia in July 2000.
• In 2005, India chose the Scorpène design; purchasing six submarines for US$3 billion (US$500 million per boat). Under a technology transfer agreement, the state-owned Mazagon Docks in Mumbai will manufacture the submarines, and deliver them between 2012 and 2016.
• Khanderi, which was launched in January 2017, is expected to complete all trials by the middle of this year, subject to the Monsoon and will be ready for induction.
• “Khanderi is undergoing extensive trials, including deep dive trials. The fourth and fifth Scorpene submarines are to be booted up this year,” Boot Together’ is a process wherein five separate sections are welded to put a submarine together.
• MDL is manufacturing six Scorpene submarines under technology transfer from Naval Group of France under a 2005 contract worth $3.75 bn. The first of the class, INS Kalvari, joined service in December last year
• “Karanj will join the Navy next year. The fourth Scorpene is expected to be launched into water next year. Karanj has to undergo rigorous harbour and sea acceptance trails after which it would be commissioned into service.
• The Navy is drawing up plans to install Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) modules on all the Scorpene submarines when they go for normal refit six years after their induction.

Scorpene-class submarines

• The Scorpène-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines jointly developed by the French Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and the Spanish company Navantia, and now by DCNS.
• It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP).
• The Chilean Navy ordered two Scorpène-class boats, which replaced two Oberon-class submarines retired by the Chilean Navy.
• In 2005, the Indian Navy ordered six Scorpène-class; all the Indian boats will be built in India, at Mazagon Dock and elsewhere, and the last two are to be fitted with an Indian Fuel cell AIP module.
• The Chilean Scorpène-class O’Higgins and Carrera were completed in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2009, the Royal Malaysian Navy commissioned Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak. The Indian Navy commissioned Kalvari in 2017.
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