The fifth submarine of the scorpene-class, Vagir, was handed to the Indian Navy on December 20 ahead of its planned commissioning in January. As China expands its presence in the Indian Ocean region, the introduction of the Project-75-built submarine is anticipated to boost the Indian Navy’s combat capabilities.
The INS Kalvari, INS Karanj, and INS Vela are the four Kalvari class submarines that have already been put into service. The first submarine, INS Kalvari, was commissioned in December 2017, the second, INS Khanderi, in September 2019, the third, INS Karanj, in March 2021, and the fourth, INS Vela, in November 2021.
On January 23, the fifth diesel-electric Scorpene will be commissioned by the Indian Navy as INS Vagir”. The induction of Vagir is another step towards the Indian Navy, consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as well as reflecting MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard,” the Ministry of Defence said in a press release. The ceremony’s chief guest will be Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of the Naval Staff.
Origin of INS Vagir
The first Vagir, a Russian submarine, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 3, 1973, and decommissioned on June 7, 2001, after nearly three decades of service to the country. Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), a public shipbuilder, reincarnated the submarine of the same name. It is named after the dangerous deep-water predator of the Indian Ocean known as the Sand Fish. It is one of the six submarines of the Kalvari class being constructed in India.
Facts about INS Vagir
- INS Vagir was constructed domestically at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai
- It has been built under Project-75, which includes the indigenous construction of six submarines of Scorpene design.
- Vagir was launched in November 2020 and after undergoing sea testing, the MDL handed it over to the Indian Navy on December 20.
- According to an official speaking to the news agency PTI, “The submarine in its new avatar has the distinction of having the lowest build time among all indigenously constructed submarines to date.”
- The official said, “The submarine is capable of carrying out a variety of missions, including anti-surface, anti-submarine, information gathering, mine laying, and surveillance activities.
- The first sea experiment for Vagir was its initial sea sortie in February of last year.
- It has undergone several thorough acceptance examinations as well as rigorous and difficult sea trials.
- M/s MDL delivered the submarine to the Indian Navy in December. By the end of this year, an over Rs 23,000 crore deal signed with French businesses back in 2005 would see the delivery of the sixth and final Scorpene.
Features of INS Vagir
- The submarine is intended to operate in all operational theatres, demonstrating interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force.
- It can launch attacks both underwater and on the surface using torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles.
- It is capable of a wide range of missions, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, and so on.