The Indian Navy will get her first conventional submarine in 17 years when Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissions the INS Kalvari in Mumbai on December 14.
The Kalvari’s commissioning willo take place just six days after the Golden Jubilee of the navy’s submarine arm on December 8, when President Ramnath Kovind will present the colours to the Navy’s submarine arm at the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.
Another highlight of the Kalvari’s commissioning in Mumbai is that it will be done in the presence of 92-year-old Commander KS Subramanian. He was commanding officer of the first Indian submarine, also called the INS Kalvari.
Commodore Subramanian, now based in the US, commanded the Kalvari, the first of eight Foxtrot class submarines, when she was commissioned at the erstwhile Soviet Union’s naval base Riga in Latvia on 8 December 1967.
The day is now known as Submarine Day. The Kalvari was decommissioned in 1996 after 29 years of service.
The new Kalvari is the first of six Scorpene class conventional diesel-electric submarines built at the Mazagon Docks Ltd under a $3 billion contract with DCNS (now Naval Group) of France.
Her induction was plagued by construction delays. The submarine was to enter service in 2013.
The Indian navy presently has a fleet of 13 ageing conventional submarines, a majority of which will need to be replaced within the next decade as they reach the end of their 30-year service lives.
The commisioning of the Kalvari is the longest gap between acquistions of these underwater platforms.
The acquisition of all six Kalvari-class submarines by 2021 will give the navy’s submarine arm a much needed boost.
By: India Today
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