The Indian Navy (IN) has postponed by several months the commissioning of the second of six Kalvari (Scorpène)-class diesel-electric attack submarines (SSKs) following the discovery of what appear to be manufacturing defects.
A senior IN officer told Jane’s on 16 June that the service has asked government-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), which is licence-building the boats in collaboration with France’s Naval Group, to “fix” a total of 36 “observations” or deficiencies found in Khanderi before the submarine is cleared for commissioning.
Speaking on condition of anonymity the officer said that the IN had instructed MDL to deliver a “fully sea- and battle-worthy” submarine, pointing out that it is the shipyard’s responsibility to resolve “all outstanding snags and shortcomings”.
The officer declined to provide many details about the ‘observations’ made by the IN to MDL but stated that one of Khanderi’s “principal drawbacks” at the moment is its “unacceptably high” engine and propeller noise level: an issue, which, if not rectified, would significantly increase the chances of the submarine being detected by enemy forces at sea.
Khanderi , which began sea trials in mid-2017, is part of the IN’s Project 75 programme for six Scorpène-class boats, construction of which was agreed in late 2005 with Armaris: a former Naval Group (then DCN) and Thales joint subsidiary.
Khanderi was initially scheduled to enter service by the end of 2019, but senior IN sources said this will only take place in 2020 as 29 of these ‘observations’ require testing in Sea State 1, or calm sea conditions, which are unlikely to prevail before the end of the monsoon rains at the end of September.