INS Vagir inducted into Navy; Admiral Kumar says submarine will 'add teeth' to India deterrence

NewsDrum Desk
23 Jan 2023

Mumbai, Jan 23 (PTI) The fifth Kalvari class submarine INS Vagir was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Monday, giving the maritime force a "lethal platform" with a formidable weapons package that will significantly boost its firepower and operational might.

INS Vagir, built by city-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) under collaboration with France's Naval Group, was commissioned here in a ceremony attended by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar.

The high-tech vessel would be a part of the Western Naval Command, headquartered in Mumbai, and add to its potent arsenal.

"The submarine will boost the Indian Navy's capability to further India's maritime interests in deterring the enemy, and conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) to provide decisive blow in the times of crisis," the Navy said in a release.

'Vagir' means sand shark, which represents stealth and fearlessness, two qualities synonymous with the ethos of a submariner, it said.

Describing INS Vagir as a "lethal platform" with a formidable weapons package and state of the art stealth technology, Admiral Kumar said its capabilities and firepower will not only enhance the Navy's combat potential, but also "add teeth" to the country's deterrence.

The warship will be the third submarine to be inducted into the Navy in a short span of 24 months, he said.

It was launched on November 12, 2020, under Project 75 (P75) and delivered to the Indian Navy on December 20, 2022, post completion of sea trials. INS Vagir has the distinction of having the lowest build time among all indigenously manufactured submarines till date.

"This is no small achievement, and underscores the coming of age of India's shipbuilding industry, and the maturing of our defence ecosystem. It is also a shining testimony to the expertise and experience of our shipyards to construct complex and complicated platforms," the Admiral added.

MDL Chairman and Managing Director Narayan Prasad said INS Vagir completed sea trials in 11 months from February 2022, adding its commissioning comes at a very crucial time when the geopolitical environment demands that the country respond adequately to safeguard its national interest.

Apart from adding more teeth to Indian Navy's prowess, the induction of INS Vagir into the Indian Navy is a shining example of making a very strong and determined foray towards the 'Make in India' initiative, Prasad said.

The Scorpene submarines are extremely potent platforms - they have advanced stealth features and are equipped with long range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles. These submarines have a state of the art SONAR (sound navigation and ranging) suite and sensor suite permitting outstanding operational capabilities, the Navy said.

Equipped with some of the best sensors in the world, the INS Vagir's weapons package include sufficient wire guided torpedoes and sub-surface to surface missiles to neutralise a large enemy fleet, it said.

The submarine also has the capability of launching marine commandos for special operations, while its powerful diesel engines can quickly charge batteries for a stealth mission, the Navy added.

According to MDL Chairman and MD Prasad, the newly commissioned warship is different from the earlier boats wherein the submarine also has indigenously developed main batteries of Exide make and Ku-band SATCOM of ECIL, installed on board.

This is in addition to the other indigenous equipment like weapon handling system, reverse osmosis plant, high pressure air bottles and power supply cables which have been installed in all Kalvari class submarines.

The submarine has advanced stealth features and long range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles. For self defence, it has a state of the art torpedo decoy system, the Navy release added.

The commissioning of INS Vagir comes amid the increasing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean.

Vagshir, the last of the Kalvari class submarines, is at an advanced stage of construction and is being readied to commence her first surface sea sorties in March-April, MDL CMD Prasad said.

INS Vagir is the new avatar of erstwhile INS Vagir, a Russian-origin Foxtrot class submarine, which was decommissioned on January 7, 2001, after being in service for 28 years. PTI PR BNM RSY RSY

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