MUMBAI — Heralding it as a significant new era that will boost India's defense and security, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Dec. 14 commissioned the country's first indigenously-built Scorpene-class submarine INS Kalvari into the Indian Navy.
He formally unveiled the commissioning plaque and shook hands with naval officers, before taking a quick voyage in the submarine.
It is named after the first Foxtrot-class submarine – the INS Kalvari – which was inducted into the Navy Dec. 8, 1967. This indigenous version comes days after the golden jubilee of the Navy's submarine wing.
This is the first conventional submarine to be inducted into the Indian Navy. Kalvari means Tiger Shark.
Modi was received at the Naval Dockyard by Navy Chief Sunil Lanba and presented a 100-man Guard of Honor.
He thanked France for its help and collaboration in developing the Scorpene submarines, which feature superior stealth and combat capabilities.
"It signifies strengthening of the growing strategic ties between India and France," Modi said.
The Scorpenes are built by the Mazagaon Dockyard Ltd., here under Project 75 with a transfer of technology from foreign collaborator DCNS of France.
He said the INS Kalvari will provide a significant boost to and synergize the country's defense, economic, technical and international powers, along with people power on the global arena.
It will play a crucial role in India's security and regional stability, he added.
Modi said India was fully alert with regard to its global, strategic and economic interests in the Indian Ocean.
"India's humanitarian commitment to national security and diplomacy makes us stand apart in the world. So, a safe and secure India is good not just for this country but for entire humanity."
He said India was playing a crucial role in confronting "all challenges emanating from the high seas, be it terrorism, piracy, narcotics smuggling or illegal fishing" for the countries in the Indian Ocean rim.
In her address, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said submarines were "lethal, potent and cutting platforms in modern warfare, essential for peace and deterrence."
The INS Kalvari is manned by a team of eight officers and 35 sailors with Captain S.D. Mehendale at the helm.
The commissioning will augment the offensive capability of the Indian Navy and the Western Naval Command, in particular.
The second in the series of six submarines in this project, the INS Khanderi is currently undergoing sea trials and all of the submarines are due to be inducted gradually into the Indian Navy by 2020.
The state-of-the-art features of the Scorpenes include superior stealth and the ability to launch crippling attacks with precision-guided weapons.
Attacks can be carried out with torpedoes both while submerged or on the surface and in all war theatres, including the tropics, giving it an unmatched invulnerability.
The submarine has an overall length of 67.5 meter and a height of about 12.3 meters. The hull form, fin and hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance.
Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and French Ambassador Alexandre Zeigler were present at the event.