The navy is expected to induct its first Scorpene-class submarine, named Kalvari, this June, sharpening its underwater warfare capabilities.
This will be followed by the commissioning of the second French-designed diesel-electric attack submarine, Khanderi, in December. Kalvari and Khanderi are two of the six Scorpene submarines being constructed in the country with technology transfer from French firm DCNS under a Rs 23,562-crore programme called Project 75.
The Scorpene is expected to become the main conventional submarine of the Indian fleet and replace the ageing Russian Kilo class and German HDW vessels that are almost three decades old.
The Scorpene project, plagued by cost overruns and missed deadlines, is important as the navy’s underwater attack capabilities have blunted over time. India operates 13 ageing conventional submarines and an Akula-II nuclear-powered attack boat leased from Russia.
All six submarines are expected to join the Indian fleet over the next three years, with a third boat, Vela, likely to be launched in the coming months.
As India gets ready to expand its underwater fleet, HT gives you the lowdown on why building submarines is extremely complex using data accessed from the navy:
NUMBER OF MANHOURS TO ASSEMBLE:
Boeing 777: 50,000
Boeing 777: 100,000
NUMBER OF SUPPLIERS:
Boeing 777: 550
NUMBER OF SYSTEMS:
Boeing 777: 40
CONSTRUCTION TIME (in months):
Boeing 777: 14