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India Move Towards 70% Defence Indigenisation by 2027

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh commissions India’s 2nd Scorpene-class Submarine of Project 75.

India’s second Scorpene-Class attack submarine INS “Khanderi” which was commissioned by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sep 28, It is expected to increase the India’s maritime combat lethality by many folds. India is making concerted efforts to ‘Modernise the Navy’ and equip it with the best platforms, weapons and sensors to deal with any conventional and unconventional threats to India’s maritime interests. Generally, The Minister emphasised on ‘Make in India’ and ‘Design and Make in India’ with the special light of Indian defence equipment. “70% of India’s trade by value and 95% by volume is taking place through the sea route and even a slight disruption of seaborne trade due to piracy, terrorism or conflict, could have serious repercussions on the economic growth and well-being of the nation”. The Defence Minister termed it as an “edifice of modern India”.

However, Indian Ocean region is the epicentre of activity and the entire world sees Indian Navy as a Net Security Provider. With growing stature of India in geo-political and geo-strategic dimension and increasing reliance of neighbours on us, it is the Navy’s responsibility to provide credible security and peaceful and prosperous sea routes. While the Navy is continuously evolving to meet emerging challenges to India’s maritime interests by means of state-of-the-art platforms and infrastructure, the core strength of our forces remain Indian men and women.

Significantly, India is growing and its commercial interests are spreading far and beyond, still there are many challenges, including a hostile neighbourhood. “State-sponsored terrorism remains a great challenge for world and the strong-willed Government will not hesitate to take tough decisions in the larger interest of the country. The repealing of the provisions under “Article 370″ of the Indian constitution is one such decision. Hence, India are confident that this will usher a new era of development and prosperity in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh”, The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted on Sep 28.

Thus, Nilgiri and the other six ships of the Project will proudly fly the Indian Flag across the oceans, showcasing India’s shipbuilding prowess and would spread India’s message of peace and strength across the world. ‘Today India belongs to an elite group of nations which is building its own Aircraft Carrier and Strategic Submarines’. Out of total 51 ships and submarines on order at various shipyards as on date, 49 are being constructed indigenously. This contributes to India’s target of building a five trillion dollar economy by 2025 and 70% defence indigenisation by 2027″. Defence Minister remarked that, Directorate of ‘Naval Design’ has designed over 19 classes of ships to which more than 90 ships have been built since then.

Therefore, “A vibrant shipbuilding industry can play a major role in the overall economic development of the country”, and shipbuilding is a labour intensive industry with tremendous potential for employment generation, not only in its own sector, but also in various upstream and downstream industries. Notably, Construction of one frigate itself provides direct employment to 4,800 personnel and indirect employment to around 27,000 personnel for a period of 8 years. As per the data, Almost 87% of the total warship cost is invested in the Indian economy which significantly contributes to nation building, The defence minister added.

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Lauding the name given to the Kalvari-class submarine, Defence minister stated that, “The name of Khanderi is inspired by the dreaded ‘Sword Tooth Fish,’ which is found in the Arabian Sea, a deadly fish known to hunt whilst swimming close to the bottom of the ocean”. However, The fish uses its long serrated saw to kill and shred their prey before eating it. It is also the name of an island fort constructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Shivaji Maharaj was one of the few medieval rulers in the country who understood the significance of Naval supremacy,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asserted on Sep 28.

Like the fish ”Kanneri”, the INS Khanderi is fully weaponised to attack its enemies. It is equipped with a set of missiles and torpedoes that can be fired upon detecting enemy targets. It has a sonar suite that enables long-range detection and classification of targets. The submarine’s warfare capability comprises a cluster of integrated advanced weapons and sensors. It has undertaken multiple torpedo and missile firing trials to validate its fighting capability. Thus, The INS Khanderi is the second of the Navy’s six Kalvari-class submarines built in India. It is a diesel-electric attack submarine which is designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS which is being manufactured at Mazagon Dock in Mumbai.

The Defence Minister assumed that, “Pakistan should understand that today with the strong resolve of our government and advancement in naval capacity with additions like INS Khanderi, we are capable of giving a much bigger blow to it,”. Now India’s special partnership with French naval will touch new heights. The construction of the submarine is benefiting industries indirectly, through the Make in India program. Union government is alert to the needs of our defence forces and we are committed to fulfilling it”.

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Meanwhile, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh mentioned that, “The commissioning of INS Khanderi marks an important step in the combat capabilities of the Indian Navy. It is a testimony to our abilities to construct on complex platforms. The platform in front of you today showcases the strides taken in indigenisation of production for the Indian Navy.” Captain Dalbir Singh also argued that, “Being a modern submarine with the latest technology of weapons and sensors and also stealth technology. I am very confident she will perform her role.” According to Indian Navy, the INS Khanderi is one of the most potent platforms to have been constructed in India that can compare with the best in the world.

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It has an overall length of 67.5 metres and a height of about 12.3 metres. The hull form, the fin and the hydroplanes are specifically designed to produce minimum underwater resistance. The power of the submarine”s motor is provided by 360 battery cells, each weighing 750 kg. The motor – known as Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor – is extremely silent in nature. The stealth of the INS Khanderi is further enhanced through the mounting of equipment inside the pressure hull on shock absorbing cradles, IANS News Agency attributed.

As per the report, Under a programme called Project 75, The country is committed to building six Scorpene-class submarines at a cost of around Rs 25,000 crore. Such programme has been undertaken with Transfer of Technology from Naval Group, a state-run submarine builder in France, which was formerly known as DCNS (Naval Group). The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also took a dig at Pakistani PM Mr Imran Khan on Sep 28, adding that the latter has been creating content fit for cartoon makers in trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue. “While our progressive steps in Jammu and Kashmir are receiving global support, Pakistani PM has been running around door to door and creating content for cartoon makers.

Globally, Recent US visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcased India’s emergence as a superpower. We witnessed how Indian Prime Minister was welcomed by top leaders of the US at jam-packed Stadium. The Defence Minister was speaking in Mumbai on the occasion of the commissioning of India’s second Scorpene-class attack submarine at the Mazgaon Docks. The INS Khanderi is a conventional diesel-electric submarine and has been manufactured by the state-run Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai. Above construction had begun in April 2009 and it was constructed in five separate segments which were welded together later. The submarine’s undersea warfare capability comprises a cluster of integrated advanced weapons and sensors.

At United Nation general Assembly (UNGA), PM Modi asks International community to stand united against terrorism. Addressing the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, PM Narendra Modi on Sep 27 exhorted the international community to stand united against terrorism, which he described as one of the biggest challenges not for any single country, but for the entire world. He lamented the lack of unanimity amongst the member states on the issue of terrorism, adding it dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the United Nations. Noting that India is a country, that has given the world, not war, but Buddha, Buddha’s message of peace. “And that is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage”.

Consequently, This is a time for Transforming our defence capability and modernise our defence sector to combat both, the internal as well as external threats worldwide. In this regard, The INS Khanderi is commissioned, carries forward the legacy of her namesake, a Soviet Foxtrot Class, which was India’s second submarine overall and was in service of the Indian Navy for 21 years. This is the first ship of Project 17A, the Project 17A frigates is a design derivative of the Shivalik class stealth frigates with much more advanced stealth features and indigenous weapons and sensors. It is being built using integrated construction methodology. It frigates incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and ship manoeuvrability and much more.. Although, The first INS Khanderi was commissioned in December 1968 and pulled out of service in 1989. The submarine’s motto ”Akhand Abhedya Adrishya” indicates the unity of the crew, indomitable spirit and stealth of the platform. 

About Author, “Trilok Singh” Founder and CEO at Youth Darpan Media, IASmind.com, & India’s Journal. MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Currently Studies Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism at International School of Media and Entertainment Studies (ISOMES), Film City, Noida; News 24 Campus.

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