NEW DELHI: Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj has been commissioned at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai through a formal commissioning ceremony. Admiral V.S. 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 India-Pakistan 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, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and MoD were amongst 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 Aatmanirbhar Bharat is a fundamental tenet of Indian Navy’s growth story and future operational capabilities”.
Chief Guest Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s push towards “aatmanirbharta” 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 it”
This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of 1971 Indo – Pak war. Old INS Karanj, commissioned on 4 Sep 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr V.S. 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 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.
It is a major milestone for Indian Navy’s Project 75 as India achieves “aatmanirbharta” with indigenous submarine construction at Mazagon Dock. 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.