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About INS Vagir

Context:

Recently, The Indian Navy  commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine Vagir. It is among the six submarines being built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, in collaboration with the French M/s Naval Group under Project 75.

Reference:

GS III: Defence

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are the specifications of Vagir?
  2. Features, capabilities and technical details of INS Vagir
  3. Strategic importance

What are the specifications of Vagir?

  • The latest submarine gets its name from the erstwhile Vagir, a submarine which served the Navy between 1973 and 2001 and undertook numerous operational missions.
  • The construction of the new Vagir began in 2009 and it took its maiden sea sortie in February last year.
  • Also known as Sand Shark, the submarine was delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2022.
  • Vagir represents stealth and fearlessness, as it comes with features like an advanced acoustic absorption technique.
  • Vagir will boost the Indian Navy’s capability to further India’s maritime interests and is capable of undertaking diverse missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and surveillance missions.
Kalvari-class background
  • Vagir is a Kalvari-class submarine, which includes other vessels, such as the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer.
  • Of these, Kalvari and Khanderi were commissioned in 2017 and 2019, and Vela and Karanj were inducted in 2021.
  • Vagir has now been commissioned and Vagsheer was launched in 2022 and is expected to be inducted next year.

Features, capabilities and technical details of INS Vagir

  • Design: Based on Scorpene class of submarines designed by French defence major Naval Group (formerly DCNS) and Spanish state-owned entity Navantia.
  • Power transmission: Diesel Electric
  • Type: Primarily attack submarines (‘hunter-killer’) designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
  • Endurance: Approximately 50 days
  • Capabilities: Can operate in a wide range of naval combat, including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance, and naval mine laying.
  • Dimensions: 220 feet long, 40 feet height
  • Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced and 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged
  • Air Independent Propulsion (AIP): Modern variants of Scorpene class have AIP which enables non-nuclear submarines to operate for a long time without access to surface oxygen.
  • Torpedoes and missiles: 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.
  • DRDO program: DRDO has an ongoing program to build a fuel cell-based AIP system for Indian Naval Submarines.

Strategic importance

  • India currently operates one submarine in the nuclear-powered class of Chakra and two other nuclear-powered vessels in Arihant in addition to submarines belonging to three classes of Diesel Electric category — Kalvari, Shishumar and Sindhughosh, some of which are ageing.
  • The nuclear-powered and diesel-electric submarines have their designated roles in the Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers in the lead role.
  • As per the basic principles of submarine deployment and minimum requirement 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.
  • Currently, India has less number of submarines than what is required with some more of those from both types being at various stages of construction.
  • Currently, India has a less-than-ideal number of submarines, with many new ones being at various stages of construction.
  • In the late 1990s, around the time of the Kargil war, a three-decade plan took shape for indigenous construction of submarines which is known to have two separate series of submarine building lines – codenamed Project 75 and Project 75I — in collaboration with foreign entities.
  • The Ministry of Defence is also known to have put in place a roadmap for indigenous design and subsequent construction of submarines which will further add numbers to the Navy’s arsenal.

-Source: Indian Express


February 2023
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