New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's ambitious P-75 project for six Scorpene (rechristened as Kalvari) class diesel-electric stealth submarines achieved another milestone Wednesday with the launch of third submarine – INS-Karanj. The launch comes as a big relief to the Indian Navy that has been anxious over the inordinate delay in the project. The Kalvari class submarines have unmatched stealth capability and can launch a crippling attack on enemy vessels with precision-guided weapons.
"The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on the 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," the Indian Navy said in a statement.
INS-Karanj will now undergo rigorous trials and tests, both in the harbor and at sea before it is commissioned into the Navy.
The first Kalvari class submarine — INS-Kalvari is already serving the Indian Navy while the second submarine of the class INS-Khandher is currently undergoing sea trials is expected to be commissioned into the Indian Navy later this year.
These boats have an overall length of 66.4 meters, an overall beam of 6.2 meters, and a hull draught of 5.8 meters. Equipped with the SM 39 Exocet Block 2 anti-ship missile, each submarine to have six 533 mm torpedo tubes. The diesel-electric submarine has a top dived speed of 20 kt and a maximum surfaced speed of 11 kt.
These vessels are part of the $3.5 billion contract signed in October 2005 under India's Project 75 submarine construction program under which six submarines are being built at MDL in collaboration with French shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly DCNS).
Earlier last week, the Indian government had sent a high-level team to France to engage with the vendors and to communicate India's grievances over the progress in the project that has already been delayed by over five years.