The first of the Indian Navy’s six Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines, INS Kalvari, has been set afloat at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai in a bid to undergo rigorous harbour trials and tests.
The sea trials of the new underwater vessel, which was undocked in April, are expected to continue for the next ten months.
Led by Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders (MDL), the construction of the Kalvari was completed in collaboration with France.
Mazagon Dock chairman and managing director rear admiral R K Shrawat was quoted by DNA as saying: "Setting afloat of the boat is a historic milestone, which has been achieved through the hard work and perseverance of all executives and operatives of the submarine yard of MDL.
"The accomplishment of this milestone would initiate commencement of sea trials which would eventually lead to commissioning of the boat into the Indian Navy in September 2016."
The 1,750t Scorpene-class vessels will feature a sonar suite that consists of a long-range, passive cylindrical array, intercept and active sonar, distributed and flank array, and high-resolution sonar for mine and obstacle avoidance.
Powered by two diesel generation sets and armed with SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, the 67m-long submarines can dive up to a depth of 300m, require minimum manning, and have a low lifecycle cost.
The submarines will be capable of performing missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, operations by special forces, and mine laying, among others.
The remaining five vessels of the programme, Project 75, are expected to be delivered to the navy by 2020.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy is set to carry out its first missile firing, testing its first indigenously developed nuclear submarine, INS Arihant, allowing the country to launch a nuclear missile from air, land, and sea.
INS Arihant is expected to fire domestically manufactured medium-range missile B-05, which is capable of carrying a nuclear-tipped warhead.
Image: The Indian Navy’s first of six Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarines, INS Kalvari. Photo: courtesy of Indian Navy.