Khanderi, the second of Indian Navy’s Scorpene class stealth submarine, was launched recently by the Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre paving the way for her sea trials. Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff, and a host of other dignitaries witnessed the launch at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).
The submarine is expected to be delivered to Navy by the yearend. She has been christened after her illustrious predecessor, an erstwhile Foxtrot class submarine decommissioned in 1989, which is as per the traditions of the Indian Navy. The construction of six Scorpene submarines is presently being progressed at the MDL, under Project 75 with transfer of technology from DCNS France as the collaborator. The first of the class submarine, Kalvari is presently undergoing sea trials and likely to be commissioned into Navy by mid-2017. These submarines, post induction, would form the core of Navy’s conventional submarine arm.
Dr Subhash Bhamre said that Project 75 Kalvari is a key milestone in self-reliance and indigenisation for the country. Admiral Sunil Lanba said during his address that the fact that submarine Khanderi compares with the best in the world, speaks highly of the experience and expertise our shipbuilders have gained over the years. He added that as Indian Navy celebrates golden jubilee of the submarine arm in 2017, the induction of Project 75 submarines would mark the beginning of a new chapter in our submarine capabilities.
The launching of Khanderi also marks a critical milestone event for the shipyard which earlier has delivered two Shishumar class submarines in the 1990s and has now strengthened its position as a submarine building yard for Indian Navy. Started as a small dry dock facility for East India Company, MDL today has established itself as a forefront defence public sector undertaking, with indigenous construction of several ships and submarines for Navy such as P-15(B) Destroyers and P-17(A) class stealth frigates being the latest.