Indian Navy Fires Anti-Ship Missile From Attack Sub in Arabian Sea

March 3, 2017

The Diplomat:

The Indian Navy successfully test fired an anti-ship missile from a Scorpene-class (Kalvari-class) diesel-electric attack submarine in the Arabian Sea on March 2, according to an Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) press release.

“The missile successfully hit a surface target at extended ranges during the trial firing, held this morning,” the March 2 statement reads. “This missile launch is a significant milestone, not only for the Kalvari, which is the first in a series of Scorpene class submarines being built in India, but also in enhancing the Indian Navy’s sub-surface warfare capability.”

French shipbuilder Direction des Constructions Navales Services (DCNS) was awarded a $4.16 billion contract (known as Project 75-I) in 2005 for the construction of six diesel electric attack submarines for the Indian Navy in cooperation with state-run Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL). The Project 75-I deal also included the option of building six additional Scorpene-class subs at MDL in Mumbai.

The lead boat of the new class of attack submarines, the INS Kalvari, is expected to be commissioned this summer. The second Kalvari-class sub, the INS Khanderi, was launched in January of this year and is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy by the end of 2017. The other four boats are all slated for delivery by 2020 at an interval of nine months.

As I reported previously, the Kalvari-class/Project 75-I program encountered has faced repeated delays in the past decade for numerous reasons including India’s painfully slow military procurement process.

The Indian MoD did not specify the specific type of missile test fired merely noting that all six Kalvari-class boats “will be equipped with this anti-ship missile, which has a proven record in combat. These missiles will provide the submarines the ability to neutralize surface threats at extended ranges.” However, it appears likely that the anti-ship missile in question is the French-made Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile…

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