Yard 11880 (INS Vagsheer), the sixth and last submarine of the Indian Navy’s Kalvari class submarines of Project 75 has been launched at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
What is Project 75?
- Project – 75 includes construction of six submarines of Scorpene design. These submarines are being built under Project-75 by Mazagon Dock Limited under technology transfer from Naval Group of France, as part of a $3.75 billion deal signed in October 2005. However, the programme was delayed by four years due to construction.
- Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vagsheer is the sixth among the six Kalvari-class submarines being constructed by the public sector shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.
- The other vessels in the class are INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vagir and INS Vela.
- The submarines in the current Kalvari-class take their names from erstwhile decommissioned classes of submarines named Kalvari which included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela class – which included Vela, Vagir and Vagshir.
- The now-decommissioned Kalvari and Vela classes were one of the earliest of the submarines in post independence Indian Navy, which belonged to Soviet origin Foxtrot class of vessels.
- NOTE – India got its first submarine, INS Kalvari of the Foxtrot Class, from the USSR in December 1967.
Technical details –
- The design of Kalvari class of submarines is based on Scorpene class of submarines designed and developed by French defence major Naval Group formerly DCNS and Spanish state owned entity Navantia. This class of submarines have Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ type which means they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
- The Kalvari-class submarines have capability of operating in a wide range of Naval combat including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying. These submarines are around 220 feet long and have a height of 40 feet. It can reach the highest speeds of 11 knots when surfaced and 20 knots when submerged.
- The modern variants of the Scorpene class of submarines have what is called the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) which enables non-nuclear submarines to operate for a long time without access to surface oxygen. Two of six submarines in Kalvari class are equipped with AIP. It also needs to be noted that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has an ongoing programme to build a fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian Naval Submarines.
- The Kalvari class of submarines are capable of launching various types of torpedoes and missiles and are equipped with a range of surveillance and intelligence gathering mechanisms.