Source: India Today

25 April 2017

Seeking to change the old practice of inducting incomplete warships, the defence ministry and the Indian Navy are now planning to induct the first Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari only when it is full ready for operational deployment.

This is a major change in thinking of the government as earlier the shipyards would hand over warships to the Navy and then would continue trials on the systems on board and the vessels would be made fighting fit long after their official induction.

“The defence ministry is of the view that the vessels should be commissioned in service only if they are ready for deployment in operations moments after they are commissioned into the service,” Navy sources said.

“That is why, we have asked the original equipment manufacturer Mazagon Dockyards Limited and the French DCNS to complete all trials, including sensors and weapon fitment, before it is handed over to the Navy for operations,” they said.

Given the importance of the vessel for the country, it is most likely that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would induct the submarine into the navy in presence of Parrikar.

INS Kalvari is first of the six Scorpene-class submarines

The INS Kalvari is first of the six Scorpene-class submarines being built by the MDL in Mumbai with DCNS under a Rs 23,000- crore project and is delayed by four years due to issues related to make in India equipment for the vessels.

This can result in the navy waiting for a few more months before it gets to lay its hands on its first new conventional submarine to be inducted after gap of almost two decades. The ‘Kalvari’ (Tiger Shark) was planned to be inducted by the Navy by the end of 2016.

Change in warship commissioning philosophy

The issue of changing the warship commissioning philosophy was first felt when Prime Minister Modi commissioned the indigenous warship INS Kolkata in MDL in 2014.

While inducting the vessel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said induction of Kolkata would deter the enemies of the nation, it was soon pointed out that the INS Kolkata was not really complete. Several key weapon systems and sensors were missing and were either being developed or yet to be procured including the Barak-8 air defence missiles and towed array sonars which could give it the capability to detect enemy submarines in waters.

“The thinking is now that the manufacturer should complete each and every work related to the submarine and hand over a fully complete vessel to the force,” said navy sources.

Parrikar had launched the submarine in March last year for sea trials and the vessel has sailed for over 1,000 hours till now.


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