National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 29 January 2018
The third Scorpene class submarine KARANJ will be launched at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd on 31 Jan 2018. Admrial Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff will be the chief guest on the occasion.
The contract for the construction and Transfer-of-Technology for six Scorpene submarines in series, has M/s Naval Group (formerly DCNS) of France as ‘Collaborator’ and are being built by MDL.
The state-of- the-art technology utilized for construction of the Scorpene class submarines has ensured superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons.
The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth of this potent platform is enhanced by the special attention given to various signatures. These stealth features give it an invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines.
A sophisticated and state of the art Shore Integration Facility has been developed at MDL for integration and simulation of various equipments of the Scorpene submarine combat system for which there was no facility available in the country.
Sub section fabrication of the pressure hull was honed down to an art in MDL. The fabrication was broken up into multiple activities and detailed time-motion studies carried out to arrive at precise time required in quantum of half days to complete an activity. Close monitoring, proactive resolution of problems and concerted efforts to keep the assembly line moving resulted in MDL completing critical sub section fabrication of all six submarines, eleven months before the PERT date. Further the time taken to complete the fabrication of the 16 sub sections of a submarine came down from 39 months in Boat 1 to 20 months in Boat 2. This time frame of 20 months has been accepted by the collaborators, M/s NG, as higher than their standards.
Further, the number of defects experienced during the fabrication of sub sections of the boats fell from 165 on Boat 1 to 14 on Boat 6.
Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance etc. The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, with means provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It is a potent platform, marking a generational shift in submarine operations.
Last year, on 14 December, INS Kalvari, the first Scorpene class submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy, by Hon’ble Prime Minister. Khanderi, the second Scorpene class submarine was launched at MDL in January 2017, and is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials and is also scheduled to be delivered shortly. MDL has more than lived up to its reputation as a premier shipbuilding yard under the Department of Defence Production, which has greatly facilitated all aspects of this prestigious and critical defence project.
Leveraging the experience and the transfer-of-technology of the Scorpene project, with enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, MDL, is ready for undertaking construction of the next generation submarines.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.