NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — Khanderi is the second of the six Scorpene class submarines being built in India at Mazagon Dock Limited with the collaboration of French shipbuilder DCNS.
"Khanderi sailed out yesterday from Mumbai harbor for her maiden sea sortie. It was also the first major trial for her propulsion plant and a very important milestone in the construction program," an Indian Navy officer said on Friday.
The successful trial moved the submarine a significant step closer to her induction into the Indian Navy later this year. The submarine will now be put through her paces via a rigorous set of trials.
"The first Scorpene, Kalvari, is presently being readied for delivery in July-August this year, after having been put through a grueling set of trials over the past year, including successful live missile and torpedo firings," Navy official added.
The project has been delayed due to difficulties in absorbing technology from DCNS. The Indian government has expressed unhappiness over not up to the mark indigenization in the Scorpene project.
The Indian Navy needs at least 24 submarines to maintain a minimum force level but it has only about 15 subs. Of the 15, half of them are used in a restricted manner or not at optimum level and are kept as war reserves. The Indian Navy expects the Scorpene class submarines, which operate very silently and are capable of multifarious roles, to add teeth to the might of the Indian Navy by strengthening its crucial Submarine Arm.
Due to delayed projects and indecisiveness in procurement, the Indian Navy is unlikely to achieve its target of 198 ships and submarines by 2027. The present force level in the Navy is 121 ships, 15 submarines and 232 aircraft.