Indian Navy Test-fires Exocet SM 39 Anti-ship Missile from Scorpène-class submarine
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Indian Navy Test-fires Exocet SM 39 Anti-ship Missile from Scorpène-class submarine

IndraStra Global Editorial Team

Indian Navy Test-fires Exocet SM 39 Anti-ship Missile from Scorpène-class submarine

Image Attribute: A cut-out of Exocet SM 39 Anti-Ship Missile displayed at IDEAS 2014, Pakistan 
/ Source: Mohammad Irfan and M. Asif Khan

On March 2, The Indian Navy successfully conducted the maiden firing of an Exocet SM 39 Anti-Ship missile from the first of the indigenously built Kalvari class submarines, during a test firing in the Arabian Sea.

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

"This missile launch is considered to be a significant milestone, not only for the Kalvari, which is the first in a series of Scorpène class submarines being built in India but also in enhancing the Indian Navy’s sub-surface warfare capability.", said in the press release by the India's Ministry of Defence. 

All six Kalvari class submarines being built in India will be equipped with this anti-ship missile, which has a proven record in combat. These missiles are considered to provide the submarines the ability to neutralize surface threats at extended ranges.

INS Kalvari, which is the first of the Indian Navy’s Scorpène class stealth submarines being built under the Project 75, is currently undergoing extensive sea trials and will soon be inducted into the Indian Navy. Reportedly, the submarines are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with France’s DCNS. 

INS Kalvari was successfully undocked in April 2015 at the Mazagon Dock shipyard and earlier this year in the month of January, India launched its second submarine of the Scorpene-class, christened INS Khanderi. The remaining five vessels are expected to be delivered to the navy by 2020.

Last year, India opened an investigation after the Australian newspaper published documents relating to the submarine's combat capabilities which are being built in India were leaked. However, a French source close to the matter tried to play down the severity of the leak, saying the documents appeared to be "sensitive but neither critical nor confidential".

Currently, India has a fleet of 13 aging submarines, only half of which are operational at any time, opening up a gap with China which is expanding its maritime presence in the Indian Ocean. But, with the arrival of the Indian Navy’s Scorpènes, the process of upgrading the combat capability, safety and survivability of the existing sub-surface assets is considered to be continuing apace.

NOTE: Pakistan Navy's PNS Khalid (S137), PNS Saad (S138), and PNS Hamza (S139) which are also known as Agosta–90B class submarines (commissioned between 1999 to 2006) are equipped with the similar Exocet SM 39 Anti-Ship Missile system. These submarines are the long–range air-independent powered which are designed and developed through a joint venture between the French DCNS and Pakistan's KSEW Ltd.,