INS Vagir, the fifth stealth Scorpene-class Submarine, was commissioned into the Navy. Vagir was launched in November 2020, under Project 75 (P-75) and was delivered to Navy in December, 2022 after completion of sea trials.
- The Indian Navy commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine Vagir.
- The design of the Kalvari-class of submarines is based on the Scorpene class of submarines designed.
- INS Vagir would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet.
About the P-75 project –
- In June 1999, the Cabinet Committee on Security had approved a plan for the Indian Navy to induct indigenously build submarines by 2030.
- It was broken down in two phases — P-75 and P-75I.
- First Phase: P-75 —
- Under the first phase of P-75, signed in 2005, India and France signed a $3.75 billion contract for building six Scorpene class submarines.
- The executing company on the Indian side was Mazgaon Docks Ltd, and on the French side, it was DCNS, which is now called Naval Group.
- Under this project, the first submarine was commissioned in December 2017.
- Second Phase: P-75I —
- The P-75I (‘I’ stands for India) phase envisages the construction of six conventional submarines with better sensors and weapons and the Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP).
- Defence Acquisition Council cleared the project in 2019 under the strategic partnership (SP) model.
- The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced in 2017 the much-anticipated Strategic Partnership model for the Indian private sector.
- This was announced to promote Make in India in defence manufacturing
- SP model seeks to identify a few Indian private companies as Strategic Partners who would initially tie up with a few shortlisted foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to manufacture big-ticket military platforms.
- Belongs to Kalvari-class —
- Vagir is a Kalvari-class submarine, which includes vessels, such as the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela, INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer.
- In April, 2022 INS Vagsheer was launched and has been commissioned now in January 2023.
- In maritime parlance, a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement.
- The class is generally named after the first vessel in the category.
- This class of submarines have Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ types.
- This means they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
- These submarines are around 220 feet long and have a height of 40 feet.
- It can reach the highest speeds of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced and 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged.
- Technical features —
- Vagir is capable of undertaking diverse missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and surveillance missions.
- It has advanced stealth features and is also equipped with both long-range guided torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
Strategic importance –
- India currently operates group of nuclear-powered submarines and diesel-electric submarines.
- As per naval warfare principles, for India to create a strategic deterrence, there is a specific number of submarines of both types that India needs to have in active service.
- These submarines have their designated roles in the Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers in the lead role.
- However, currently, India has a less-than-ideal number of submarines, with many new ones being at various stages of construction.
- With the latest induction, India now has 16 conventional submarines and a nuclear submarine in service.
- Induction of INS Vagir also reflects major milestone for Indian Navy’s Project 75 and Make in India initiative.