INS Kalvari, the first Scorpene-class submarine to be built entirely in India, has reportedly test-fired its first torpedo, bringing it one step closer to becoming a force to reckon with in Indian Navy. The success story also adds another chapter in the opposite direction of the Scorpene Leaks saga, as part of which several chunks of information regarding the submarine had been leaked by an Australian newspaper.
Scorpene Leaks cloud
INS Kalvari is one of the six Scorpene-class submarines India Navy and French company DCNS plan to build within India, as part of the Make in India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, details of the Scorpene-class submarines began to be published by a newspaper called The Australian in August-September last year, until a court order put a stop to them.
Manohar Parrikar, who was defence minister at the time, had initially brushed off reports that sensitive data had been leaked about INS Kalvari, which had already begun its sea trials in May 2016. The matter had been seen as attempted espionage, amid India's rising maritime superiority.
Kalvari rises above reproach
In light of the Scorpene Leaks, the future of both the construction of Scorpene-class submarines as well as India's push for modernisation of its defence infrastructure had received a setback. However, INS Kalvari has reaffirmed the establishment's faith in it as well as the Scorpene programme by successfully test-firing a torpedo as part of the aforementioned sea trials.
After the test, which took place on May 26, Union minister Arun Jaitley took to Twitter to congratulate the Navy on the development. Jaitley, who currently holds the Defence portfolio after Parrikar took over as Goa chief minister, said in a tweet: "Congratulations to our scientists, engineers on successfully test-firing [a] torpedo from the first indigenously-built Scorpene-class submarine."
He went on to add: "This indigenously-built stealth submarine will soon add potent underwater capability to the Indian Navy." Read his tweets here:
Congratulations to our scientists, engineers on successfully test firing torpedo from the first indigenously built Scorpene Class Submarine— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) May 27, 2017
This indigenously built stealth Submarine will soon add potent underwater capability to the Indian Navy.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) May 27, 2017
Indian Navy has been ramping up its defence spend over the past few years, incorporating several new vessels and defence and attack systems into its ranks in a situation where countries like China are jockeying with it for position in the Indian Ocean region.
One of its most recent spends was on a missile defence system from Israel that will cost the country $630 million. And all these efforts are not going in vain. An Indian Navy ship recently managed to foil a piracy attempt in the Gulf of Aden, notorious for its infestation of Somali pirates.