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Navy inducts third Scorpene submarine Karanj

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The Navy on Wednesday inducted the third Scorpene-class conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Karanj, into service.

It was commissioned into the Navy by former Navy Chief Admiral V.S. Shekhawat, who was the Commanding Officer of the earlier INS Karanj in the 1971 India-Pakistan War, a Navy statement said.

Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project-75 by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, under technology transfer from Naval Group of France, as part of a $3.75 billion deal signed in October 2005. However, the program has been hit by four-year delays in construction.

The first submarine of the class, INS Kalvari, was commissioned in December 2017 and the second, INS Khanderi, in September 2019. The fourth, Vela, was launched into the water in May 2019 and the fifth, Vagir, in November 2020, and both are undergoing sea trials. The sixth is in an advanced stage of outfitting.

The crew of the erstwhile Karanj, a Russian origin Foxtrot class submarine that was decommissioned in 2003, were special invitees for the ceremony, the Navy said.

The year 2021 is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ to mark 50 years of the 1971 India–Pakistan war. The old Karanj, commissioned on September 4, 1969, at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in the conflict under the command of then Cdr Shekhawat.

In recognition of the valiant action of her officers and crew, a number of personnel were decorated, including the award of Vir Chakra to then Commanding Officer Cdr Shekhawat, the Navy stated.

Interestingly, the commissioning Commanding Officer of the old Karanj, Cdr MNR Samant, later became the first Chief of the Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in 1971.

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