Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today commissioned the INS Khanderi in Mumbai, making it the second Scorpene-class submarine to join the submarine arm of the Indian Navy.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Singh said, “I feel proud to be standing here to commission INS Khanderi. It has been built in India under Project 75. This is a symbol of our special ties with France as this project is a collaboration with France. We are proud of our Navy. In 1971, the Navy played a huge role in defeating Pakistan. Pakistan should know our capabilities and we can use them if required.”
Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh said, “The commissioning of Khanderi marks an important step in the combat capabilities of the Indian Navy. It is a testimony to our abilities to construct on complex platforms. The platform in front of you today showcases the strides taken in indigenisation of production for the Indian Navy.”
Captain Dalbir Singh, the Commanding Officer of the submarine told NDTV, “Being a modern submarine with the latest technology of weapons and sensors and also stealth technology. I am very confident she will perform her role.”
Regarded as a prestigious induction, INS Khanderi is among the most potent platforms to have been constructed in India. The new Khanderi carries forward the legacy of her namesake, a Soviet Foxtrot Class, which was India’s second submarine and rendered yeoman service to the nation for 21 years.
Construction of the new Khanderi, designated as MDL Yard 11876, began with the first cutting of steel in April 2009. The submarine was initially constructed in five separate sections.
“Scorpene is one of most advanced conventional submarines available in the world and in India we call it call it Kalvari class submarines as the first Scorpene submarine we commissioned in 2017 is called the INS Kalvari. Khanderi is the second Scorpene submarine and we can fire torpedoes, missiles and mines. We have heavyweight anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes. Stealth technology is very advanced and the machinery is very quiet and it prevents enemies from detecting the submarine,” Captain Dalbir Singh said.
Khanderi was first put to sea on June 1, 2017. Since then, it has since undergone comprehensive sea trials. The submarine has undertaken multiple torpedo and missile firing to validate its fighting capability. On completion of trials, the boat was delivered to the Indian Navy by MDL on on September 19.
The submarine’s undersea warfare capability comprises a cluster of integrated advanced weapons and sensors. The sonar suite enables long range detection and classification. When identified, INS Khanderi may choose to engage the enemy by utilising either missiles or torpedoes.
INS Khanderi’s motif is inspired by the fish “Kanneri” found in the Arabian Sea, which is known for hunting while swimming close to the bottom of the ocean using the barbells to find their prey and use their long serrated saw to kill and shred their prey before eating it.
The project of building six Scorpene-class submarines in India has seen delays, but finally, things are picking up with Mazgaon Docks Shipbuilders Limited delivering two of the six submarines. The other four are under various stages of construction.