New Delhi: INS Kalvari, Indian Navy’s first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine, will commence on its final phase of trials in September, ahead of its planned induction by the end of this year. The 66-metre-long INS Kalvari is part of an $3.5 billion contract signed by the defence ministry with French firm DCNS in October 2005 to jointly develop six submarines.
Under Project 75 of the Indian Navy, the submarines are being built at Mumbai’s MDL dockyard under licence from DCNS. While the first four will be conventional submarines, the last two are to be equipped with the Air Independent Propulsion system, which will enable the vessel to stay underwater for longer. However, sources said the AIP technology might be delayed.
Interestingly, the submarines still do not have its main weapon — the heavy-weight torpedos. The original torpedo selected for the submarine was the one manufactured by WASS of Italy, one of the subsidiaries of scam-tainted firm Finmeccanica. The government now has decided to withdraw the tender for the torpedos and go in for an alternative.
Once INS Kalvari is handed over to Navy, the plan is to have other five inducted every nine months. Construction of the first submarine had started on 23rd May 2009.