New Delhi: The Indian Navy inducted the third stealth Scorpene-class submarine INS Karanj into the Navy’s fleet at a formal commissioning ceremony at Naval Dockyard Mumbai today.
The chief guest at the ceremony was former Naval Chief Admiral VS Shekhawat PVSM, AVSM, VRC who was part of the Old Karanj’s commissioning crew and later the Commanding Officer during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. Six Scorpene-class submarines are being built in India by Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai in collaboration with the Messrs Naval Group of France. INS Karanj will be part of the Western Naval Command’s submarine fleet and will be another powerful part of the command’s arsenal.
Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and other senior officers of the Indian Navy and the Ministry of Defense witnessed the commissioning ceremony as well as many dignitaries were also involved in the ceremony. The crew of the Russian-origin Foxtrot class submarine, which was de-commissioned in 2003, were also specially invited to the ceremony. During his address, the Navy Chief said that “the emphasis on indigenization and self-reliant India is a fundamental element of the Indian Navy’s growth story and future strategic capabilities.”
Chief Guest Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s move towards self-sufficiency and said that “we live in an India that is launching many satellites, building nuclear submarines and vaccines for the world.” The new Karanja is another example of this. “
This year is being celebrated as the ‘Golden Victory Year’, which marks the 50 years of the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The old INS Karanj, commissioned on 04 September 1969 in Riga in the then USSR, also played an active role in the war under the supervision of the then Commander VS Shekhawat. As a result of the heroic action of INS Karanj, the crew members and other personnel of the submarine were decorated, including the Veer Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Commander VS Shekhawat. Interestingly, Commander MNR Samant, the commissioning commanding officer of the old INS Karanj, became the naval chief of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in 1971.
Scorpene submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. Compared to its predecessors, these submarines are more deadly and covert, equipped with powerful weapons and sensors to neutralize any danger above or below the sea surface.
Karanja’s joining is another step towards being a builder navy of the Indian Navy, which strengthens its position, as well as reflecting MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine construction yard in the world. Project 75 is also an important milestone in the continuous importance of this yard in the field of defense production.