Indian Navy's third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj, equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface, was commissioned on Wednesday.
Former Navy chief Admiral V S Shekhawat, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 IndoPak war, was the chief guest for the commissioning ceremony at the Naval Dockyard.
Six Scorpene class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited Mumbai, under collaboration with Naval Group, France, a Navy spokesperson said in a release.
INS Karanj is the third Kalavari-class submarine to be commissioned into the Navy. The diesel-electric submarines based on the Scorpene design are also referred as Scorpene class submarines.
INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Commands submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Commands arsenal, the spokesperson said.
Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh and senior Navy and MoD officers were among those present at the commissioning ceremony.
The crew of the erstwhile Karanj, a Russian origin Foxtrot class submarine which was decommissioned in 2003 were also special invitees for the ceremony.
During his address, the navy chief said, "This impetus to indigenisation and Aatmanirbhar Bharat is a fundamental tenet of the Indian Navy's growth story and future operational capabilities."
Admiral Shekhawat (retd) also highlighted India’s push towards self-reliance by saying, "We live in an India launching numerous satellites, building nuclear submarines, manufacturing vaccines for the world. The new Karanj is another example of the same."
This year is being celebrated as the Swarnim Vijay Varsh, which marks 50 years of the 1971 IndoPak war. The old Karanj, commissioned on September 4, 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in that war.
In recognition of the valiant action of her officers and crew, a number of personnel on board were decorated, including the award of Vir Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Cdr Shekhawat.
The commissioning Commanding Officer of the old Karanj Cdr M N R Samant later became the first Chief of the Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in 1971.
The Scorpene class submarines are among the most advanced conventional submarines in the world, the release said. "They are equipped with the latest global technologies. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface," it added.
The commissioning of INS Karanj is another step towards the Indian Navy consolidating its position as a builders navy, and also is a reflection of MDLs capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard in the world, the release said.