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Indian Navy successfully test-fires missile from Kalvari submarine

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Project 75 submarine Kalvari successfully launched underwater missile and engaged surface target. File photo of Kalvari submarine. Photo: Indian Navy.

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Navy on Thursday successfully test-fired an anti-ship missile for the first time from the indigenously built Kalvari class attack submarine, in yet another step towards further bolstering India's naval prowess.

The defence ministry described the launch as a significant milestone in enhancing the navy's "sub-surface" warfare capability.

The successful trial of the "intelligent missile" having "extended ranges" reflects culmination of a complex process and the submarine is now almost ready for integration, navy sources said.

The weapon was fired from the first vessel in the series of six Scorpene-class submarines and it "successfully hit" a surface target during the trial in the Arabian Sea. These warships are being built under Project 75 by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai.

All the six diesel-electric attack submarines will be equipped with the anti-ship missile, which has a proven record in combat, the defence ministry said, noting these missiles will provide the vessels the ability to neutralise surface threats at extended ranges.

"The missile successfully hit a surface target at an extended range during the trial firing.

"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," the ministry said.

The strike range of the missile was not disclosed.

The sources said Khanderi, the second Kalvari class Scorpene submarine, is set to be inducted some time in December. The submarines have been designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS.

The Indian Navy is among a select few countries in the world to have anti-ship missile firing capability from submarines.

"The test firing reflects culmination of a very complex process. The successful trial of the missile brings a paradigm shift in naval warfare," the sources said.

They said the submarines will be inducted at intervals of around nine months each.

The key features of the Kalvari class vessels include superior stealth capability and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons.

The submarines will have communication and other modern equipment to provide interoperability with other ships of a naval task force.

The sophisticated vessels will be able to undertake multifarious missions like anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.

India joined the exclusive group of submarine constructing nations on February 7, 1992, with the commissioning of the first indigenously built submarine INS Shalki.

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