India’s Scorpene-class submarine conducts first anti-ship missile launch

Scorpene-class submarine INS KalvariFirst Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari at sea. Photo: Indian Navy

INS Kalvari, the lead ship of the Indian Navy’s six diesel-electric attack submarines, carried out her first firing of an anti-ship missile on Thursday, the Indian navy announced.

The maiden firing of the missile took place in the Arabian Sea and was deemed a success.

The navy said the missile hit a surface target at extended ranges during the trial firing.

While the navy did not provide details, the missile in question is likely an Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile. The DCNS-designed submarines were hit by a leak scandal last year when The Australian published a leaked top-secret report on the Indian Navy’s Kalvari-class submarines.

One of the many leaked details included the number of targets the anti-ship missile is capable of processing, its launch details and how many targets could be downloaded before firing, according to the report.

The missile’s manufacturer says the Exocet SM39 is the submarine-launched version of the Exocet family with a range of 50 km. The aerial missile is ejected as soon as it breaks the surface, to ensure a very low culmination altitude. It then homes into the target at sea skimming level using an inertial navigation system followed by autonomous terminal guidance from an active RF seeker.

All six Kalvari class submarines being built in India will be equipped with this anti-ship missile.

Indian shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited launched the second Kalvari-class submarine INS Khanderi on January 12 this year and the navy is expecting to receive it by year’s end.

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