New Delhi: Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj was commissioned on March 10 at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai through a formal commissioning ceremony.
Admiral VS Shekhawat (Retd), former Chief of the Naval Staff, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 Indo – Pak war, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. Six Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France. INS Karanj would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Command’s arsenal.
Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence (MoD) were among the several dignitaries who witnessed the commissioning ceremony. 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 CNS said “this impetus to Indigenisation and Atmanirbhar Bharat is a fundamental tenet of Indian Navy’s growth story and future operational capabilities.”
The Chief Guest Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s push towards Atmanirbharta by saying “we live in an India launching numerous satellites, building nuclear submarines, manufacturing vaccines for the worlds – the new Karanj is another example of it.”
This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of 1971 Indo – Pak war. Old INS Karanj, commissioned at Riga in the erstwhile USSR on September 4, 1969, also took active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr VS Shekhawat.
In recognition of the valiant action of her oﬃcers and crew, a number of personnel were decorated, including award of Vir Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Cdr VS Shekhawat. Interestingly, the commissioning Commanding Officer of the old INS Karanj Cdr MNR Samant later on became the first Chief of The Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in the year 1971.
The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. 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.
The induction of Karanj is another step towards the Indian Navy consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy as also is a reflection of MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard of the world. Project – 75 also marks a critical milestone in the Yard’s continued importance in the field of Defence Production.