Mumbai: Indian Navy’s fifth Scorpene-class submarine INS Vagir, was launched on Thursday. Minister of state for defence, Shripad Naik, attended the function to launch the submarine, held in the Mazagon Docks, via videoconferencing. This is the fifth submarine built under Project 75. The building of the sixth submarine is already underway. RB Pandit, the Commanding officer of the Western Naval Command, expressed confidence that INS Vagir will join the Indian Navy in a year. The launch was attended by senior naval officials and officials from the French’ Naval Group’.
The Mazagon Docks Shipbuilders Limited has been assigned the responsibility of building six submarines based on the French Scorpene class. Two of these submarines INS Kalavari, INS Khanderi are already commissioned in the Indian Navy. Moreover, INS Karanj and INS Vela are undergoing testing. It is being said that both these submarines will be commissioned in the Indian naval fleet within the next few months. These submarines, known as ‘Hunter Killer’, have both, anti-warship and anti-submarine warfare capabilities. These submarines can easily perform duties like getting confidential information, surveillance and planting underwater mines.
These submarines of Diesel-electric type, are 220 feet long and can travel at a speed of 20 knots. The distinctive feature of the submarine is the very low noise while travelling at the seabed level. The Air independent Propulsion system, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), also has been deployed on these submarines equipped with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.
India has a coastline of 7,500 kilometres and a demand for advanced submarines for protection of this coastline, is being made for the last few years. China, the Indian neighbour, has the world’s second-largest navy. The Chinese navy has 79 submarines and since the last few years patrolling by these submarines has increased in the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian marine regions. Moreover, China will be supplying eight submarines to Pakistan.
Currently, the Indian Naval fleet has 17 submarines. Against this background, since the last few years, there is a demand for the addition of advanced submarines in the naval fleet. As per received information, the Indian navy has floated tenders for stealth submarines, a few months ago.