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.

 

Details

  • 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.

 

Features

  • 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.