AIR spotlight summary on “Launch of Submarine KHANDERI”.
- INS Khanderi, the second indigenously built Scorpene submarine, was launched at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. Khanderi is the second of the six submarines being built at MDL in collaboration with M/s DCNS of France, as part of Project 75 of Indian Navy. The first one, Kalvari, is completing sea trials and will be commissioned shortly into the Indian Navy. Khanderi has been launched into the water and after the trails it will be commissioned as INS Khanderi submarine into the Indian Navy for operational duty.
- In 1999 the government had approved a 30-year submarine building plan for induction of 24 submarines in a phased manner. Unfortunately for various reasons it got delayed and India is lacking in the conventional submarines. The Indian Navy’s submarine arm will complete 50 years on December 8 this year.
Highlights of INS Khanderi
- Khanderi uses precision-guided weapons including torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, which can be launched underwater or on surface. It can undertake multifarious types of missions typically undertaken by any modern submarine, i.e anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.
- The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, including the tropics. All means and communications are provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a naval task force.
Air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarine and Diesel-electric submarine
- INS Khanderi is a diesel electric submarine. Diesel electric submarine works on a diesel engine when submarine is on the surface, the minute it goes under water it works on electricity generated by the batteries. When the battery power is completed, the submarine need to come up to the surface and go back on diesel and it is vulnerable while reaching the surface.
- The AIP need not reach the surface at all and can run the diesel engine inside with independent air and charge the batteries and need not come up on surface. So the submarine is not easily detected which is a great advantage. AIP submarine can stay under water for longer time compared to Diesel electric submarine.
- As long as the submarine is under water it poses a big threat to the enemy and it is the biggest asset when it is under water. Nuclear submarines can remain under water till human endurance can last. America has a series of nuclear submarines; China has built 6 to 7 of them and promises to build more. China at the moment has 60 submarines as per US Department of Defence report.
Need of the Hour
- India has lot to catch-up with China, America, Russia and Japan. India is working towards this; we have built our own nuclear submarine INS Arihant. Pakistan has got Agosta-class submarines; they do not have the capacity to come far away from their shore. They would defend their shore and have a sea denial capacity. Pakistan when compared to Indian Navy is not anywhere near it and therefore will have only a sea denial capability which Indian Navy can take charge of.
- Better mind in the Navy must look to speed up the submarine building plan. But economy and balanced force is also very important for the Navy and not to just think of only submarines.
- India has a Blue water navy but not a Distant Navy. The Indian Navy is aiming to have a 200-ship fleet by 2027 as per a maritime capability perspective plan in order to guard interests and assets of the nation in waters around them. Today we have 137 ships and submarines, our aspiration is to become a 200-ship Navy (by 2027).The nation and the government has accepted that the 21st century will be a maritime century.
- The domain knowledge of building submarines have come back. The Indian Navy and the ship builders are on the way to build submarines.