India's Growing Naval Power: The Commissioning of INS Vagir

On Monday, the Indian Navy commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine, named INS Vagir. The submarine is one of six being built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, in collaboration with French company M/s Naval Group, under Project 75. Four of these submarines have already been commissioned into the Navy and a sixth will be commissioned next year. The Indian Express takes a look at the newly commissioned INS Vagir and its capabilities, as well as the strategic importance of the Kalvari-class submarines.

Background of the Kalvari-class:

  • The INS Vagir is a member of the Kalvari-class, which includes other vessels such as the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela, and INS Vagsheer. Of these, the Kalvari and Khanderi were commissioned in 2017 and 2019 respectively, while the Vela and Karanj were inducted in 2021. The Vagir has now been commissioned, and the Vagsheer was launched in 2022 and is expected to be inducted next year.
  • 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 classes — comprising Vela, Vagir, and Vagshir. The now-decommissioned Kalvari and Vela classes were some of the earliest submarines in the post-independence Indian Navy, which belonged to Soviet origin Foxtrot class of vessels.

Capabilities and technical details of INS Vagir:

  • The design of the Kalvari-class of submarines is based on the Scorpene class of submarines designed and developed by French defence major Naval Group, formerly DCNS, and the Spanish state-owned entity Navantia. These submarines have diesel-electric transmission systems and are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ types, meaning they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
  • The Kalvari-class submarines have an estimated endurance of approximately 50 days and the capability of operating in a wide range of naval combat, including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering, mine laying, and surveillance missions. The INS Vagir is equipped with an advanced acoustic absorption technique, which allows it to operate in stealth mode, making it a formidable weapon in the Indian Navy’s arsenal.

Strategic Importance:

  • The commissioning of the INS Vagir is a significant step towards the Indian Navy consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as it reflects MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard.
  • The submarine’s advanced capabilities and stealth technology make it a formidable weapon in the Indian Navy’s arsenal, capable of undertaking diverse missions to further India’s maritime interests. The Kalvari-class submarines are equipped to operate in both shallow and deep waters, making them ideal for coastal defence, as well as open-ocean operations.

Synopsis

The commissioning of the INS Vagir is a significant step in the Indian Navy’s efforts to modernize and strengthen its submarine fleet. The stealth capabilities and advanced technology of the Kalvari-class submarines make them a formidable weapon in the Indian Navy’s arsenal, capable of undertaking diverse missions to further India’s maritime interests. The induction of the INS Vagir is a testament to the capabilities of the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) as a premier ship and submarine building yard, and a further consolidation of the Indian Navy’s position as a builder’s Navy.

Written by IAS POINT

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