- The second indigenously built Scorpene Submarine, INS Khanderi, was launched on Thursday.
- It is named after the island fort of Maratha forces, which played a vital role in ensuring their supremacy at sea in the late 17th century.
What is a Scorpene Submarine?
- It is a conventionally powered submarine weighing 1,500 tonnes.
- It can go up to a depth of 300 m.
- It is built by DCNS of France.
- The submarine has superior stealth features.
- It can cripple an enemy using precision guided weapons.
- The submarine can attack with torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles while it is underwater or on the surface.
- It can operate in all theatres including the tropics.
- It is equipped with all means and communications to ensure interoperability with other components of a naval task force.
- It can undertake anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.
- It can run in extreme temperatures.
- It is powered by a diesel-electric engine. This means that it won’t be able to remain submerged for long duration and will have to resurface to recharge its batteries.
Significance of Submarines
- A submarine is the quietest military platform.
- It is extremely difficult to detect them.
- Their main cover is their ability to move stealthily under water and keep an eye on the movement of enemy vessels.
- They are the most potent military platforms available at present even ahead of aircraft carriers which need a large staff to protect them.
- Their significance is increased by the fact that nations which possess nuclear weapons base their second strike capability (ability to strike back after being hit first by a nuclear strike) on nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).
- Submarine Day is celebrated every year on December 8. It was on this day in the year 1967 when the first submarine, INS Kalvari, was inducted into the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy’s submarine arm will complete 50 years in 2017.
- In October 2005, India had signed a USD 3.75 bn for six submarines to be built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai with technology transfer from DCNS of France.
- The first submarine built under the project has been named INS Kalvari, which is undergoing sea trials and will be commissioned shortly into the Navy.
- INS Khanderi is the second one to be built under Project-75.
- The remaining four submarines are at various stages of construction and MDL has assured to hand over one submarine every nine months.
- The Indian Navy, at present, operates only 13 conventionally powered submarines and two nuclear submarines. This makes the project very critical for the growth of Indian Navy.
Submarine Manufacturing in India
- On 7 February 1992, India joined the exclusive group of submarine building nations with the commissioning of the first Indian-built submarine, INS Shalki.
- It was constructed by MDL which went on to commission another submarine, INS Shankul in 1994.
- These two submarines are still in service.