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MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today commissioned the INS Kalvari submarine saying it will play a big part in combatting terrorism which the nation’s enemies are using to fight a “proxy war”.
“We are beginning a new journey with commissioning of INS Kalvari. May sea gods keep you strong and safe,” said the PM.
The Scorpene-class submarine is named Kalvari, which means tiger shark, a deadly deep-sea predator. As the PM dedicated it to the nation, he also spoke at length about India’s security, but also about stability in the region and India’s global responsibilities.
“I’m calling this submarine by a special name that I’ve coined: SAGAR, which stands for ‘security and growth for all in the region’…Countries around the world want to work with India in its endeavour for peace and stability,” said the PM.
The submarine will play a crucial role in India’s security and indeed in stability for the region and the world at large, said the PM.
“India’s humanitarian approach to diplomacy and national security is something that makes us special in the world. A safe India is good not just for us, but for the whole of humanity,” said the PM.
Kalvari, the first of the six Scorpene-class submarines, was handed over by shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), and commissioned into the Navy by the PM in Mumbai.
The submarine boasts superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons, said MDL.
“Our government’s slogan ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ holds goods for such development by land, sea and air. Whether its terrorists coming via ocean, whether it’s piracy on the high seas or illegal fishing, India is playing a big role in combatting these challenges”” said the PM, as he touted the submarine’s features.
चाहे समुद्र के रास्ते आने वाला आतंकवाद हो, Piracy की समस्या हो, ड्रग्स की तस्करी हो या फिर अवैध फिशिंग, भारत इन सभी… https://t.co/sbRmsqKvtl
— PMO India (@PMOIndia)
INS Kalvari can reach a speed of 20 knots, it has sea-skimming SM-39 Exocet missiles and heavy-weight wire-guided surface and is armed with underwater target torpedoes.
PM Modi also spoke of how the submarine will help India meet its global responsibilities.
“By considering the world our family, India is meeting its global responsibilities. India has become the first responder for all nations friendly to is in their time of need,” he said.
The PM said the submarine is a successful example of a ‘Made-In-India’ project and also a good model for international collaboration. The diesel-electric submarine is designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS.
“INS Kalvari is a fine example of the success of ‘Made-In-India’ project and is also a testimony to growing strategic partnership between India and France,” PM Modi said.
On the occasion, PM Modi also paid tribute to all those who have defended India.
“I take this opportunity to express gratitude towards all those who laid their lives to protect our nation. The 125 crore people of India salute all the paramilitary forces, police forces, defense forces, and all those visible and invisible agencies who are working for our safety,” said the PM.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag Officer Commanding of the Western Naval Command, and top defence officials attended the commissioning ceremony.
The new 1,565-tonne submarine is to be followed by five of her Scorpene sisters under the Rs 23,652 crore “Project-75” underway at Mazagon Docks in collaboration with France.
First put to sea on May 1, 2016, Kalvari has since undergone a comprehensive trial schedule to validate her capability to float, move and fight.
The submarine has an overall length of 67.5 metre and a height of about 12.3 metres. The hull form, fin and hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance.
The Scorpene project, of course, has faced huge time and cost overruns after the contract with French shipbuilder DCNS (the Naval Group) was inked way back in October 2005.
INS Kalvari, for instance, was to be ready by 2012, with the other five coming by 2017. Now, the second one INS Khanderi will be commissioned by mid-2018, with the third INS Karanj following by early-2019. All the six will be inducted by 2020-2021 now.
“It’s better late than never. INS Kalvari is the most potent platform to have been constructed in India, capable as it is of undertaking offensive operations spanning the entire spectrum of maritime warfare,” said an officer.
The submarine, which has a speed of 20 knots, is equipped with sea-skimming SM-39 Exocet missiles and heavy-weight wire-guided surface and underwater target torpedoes. “The submarine has superior stealth and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons,” said another officer.