The fifth submarine of Project 75, Yard 11879, Indian Navy’s Kalvari class commenced her sea trials on 01 February 2022. The submarine was launched in November 2020 from the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). The submarine would be named Vagir, after commissioning.
Despite the COVID pandemic, MDL has ‘Delivered’ two submarines of the Project – 75 in the year 2021 and the commencement of sea trials of the fifth submarine is a significant milestone.
The submarine will now undergo intense trials of all its systems at sea, including propulsion systems, weapons and sensors. The submarine is scheduled for delivery to the Indian Navy in the year 2022 after completion of these trials.
According to information published by United News of India on November 9, 2021, the fourth Scorpene class submarine, which has been named INS Vela (S-24) was delivered to the Indian Navy.
The Scorpene-class submarines are 2000 tons conventional-propulsion submarines designed and developed by Naval Group for all types of mission, such as surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations, or intelligence gathering.
The class has two diesel generation sets providing 1,250 kW/1,676 hp of power. At the top of the hull immediately above the diesel generator sets is a Dutch Breach machinery shipping hatch. The submarine has an elastically supported 2,900 kW/3,889 hp electronic engine.
The submarines can carry 18 torpedoes and missiles or 30 mines. It is equipped with six bow-located 21-inch/533-mm torpedo tubes providing salvo launch capability. Positive discharge launching is by an air turbine pump. She can launch anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes, as well as anti-surface missiles. The handling and loading of weapons are automated.
Indian Navy’s third stealth Scorpene class Submarine INS Karanj (S23) has been commissioned on March 10, 2021 at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai through a formal commissioning ceremony. Admiral VS Shekhawat PVSM, AVSM, VrC (Retd), former Chief of the Naval Staff, who was part of the commissioning crew of the old Karanj and later the Commanding officer during the 1971 Indo – Pak war, was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. Six Scorpene Class submarines are being built in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France. INS Karanj (S23) would form part of the Western Naval Command’s Submarine fleet and would be another potent part of the Command’s arsenal.
Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff, and other senior officers from the Indian Navy and MoD were amongst the several dignitaries who witnessed the commissioning ceremony. Crew of the erstwhile ‘Karanj’, a Russian origin Foxtrot Class Submarine which was decommissioned in 2003 were also special invitees for the ceremony. During his address, the CNS said «this impetus to Indigenisation & AatmaNirbharBharat is a fundamental tenet of Indian Navy’s growth story and future operational capabilities».
The Chief Guest Admiral Shekhawat also highlighted India’s push towards AatmaNirbharta by saying «we live in an India launching numerous satellites, building nuclear submarines, manufacturing vaccines for the worlds – the new Karanj is another example of it».
This year is being celebrated as the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ which marks 50 years of 1971 Indo – Pak war. Old INS Karanj, commissioned on 04 Sep 1969 at Riga in the erstwhile USSR, also took active part in the conflict under the Command of then Cdr VS Shekhawat. In recognition of the valiant action of her oﬃcers and crew, a number of personnel were decorated, including award of Vir Chakra to the then Commanding Officer Cdr VS Shekhawat. Interestingly, the commissioning Commanding Officer of the old INS Karanj Cdr MNR Samant later on became the first Chief of The Naval Staff of the newly formed Bangladesh Navy in the year 1971.
The Scorpene Submarines are one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. These platforms are equipped with the latest technologies in the world. More deadly and stealthier than their predecessors, these submarines are equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface.
The induction of INS Karanj (S23) is another step towards the Indian Navy, consolidating its position as a builder’s Navy, as also is a reflection of MDL’s capabilities as a premier ship and submarine building yard of the world. Project – 75 also marks a critical milestone in the Yard’s continued importance in the field of Defence Production.
On November 12th 2020, INS Vagir (S25) was launched by Smt Vijaya Shripad Naik, wife of Shri Shripad Naik, Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri. INS Vagir (S25) is the fifth P75 Scorpene submarine entirely built by the Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) based on years of technology transfer and partnership with Naval Group.
After recent commissioning of INS Khanderi (S22) in September 2019 and the launch of the INS Vela (S24) in May 2019, the INS Vagir (S25), the fifth of the series of six Kalvari-class submarines ordered by India in 2005, to be launched.
This event highlights the success of the indigenous submarines construction program of the Government of India. These submarines have been completely built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) through a transfer of technology from Naval Group, in line with Indian Government’s «Make in India» policy. This series of six submarines are fitted with a number of equipment, built in India by qualified and highly trained industrial Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSMEs) which form the sound base of the Indian submarine building ecosystem.
«Naval Group is proud to be part of first of its kind P75 Kalvari program to deliver entirely «Made in India» submarines to the Indian Navy. The P75 program is a major element of the strategic Indo-French partnership developed over the last decades. This launch, amidst Covid-19 challenges, represents a new milestone for this unique industrial program and illustrates the Aatmanirbharta (self-reliance) of Indian Navy and industry», mentioned Alain Guillou, Senior EVP – International Development at Naval Group.
The Scorpene is a conventional-propulsion submarine designed and developed by Naval Group for all types of mission, such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. Extremely stealthy and fast, its level of operating automation allows for a limited crew which reduces its operating costs significantly. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes and 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles, mines).
With 14 submarines sold internationally by Naval Group, the Scorpene is an essential reference product in the area of conventional attack submarines (SSK) for Navies across the world. The Scorpene can be adapted to meet special needs of international navies.
Naval Group is present in India through its 100% subsidiary Naval Group India. Established in September 2008, Naval Group India’s mission has been to support the indigenisation of equipment for Scorpene submarine, to develop the Indian defence eco-system, as well as to develop design services in India with talented Indian engineers.
Naval Group India endeavours to be a visionary and to further its involvement in empowering more industries by creating a robust eco-system that can cater to the varied defence needs of the country.
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) called «Ship Builder to the Nation», is one of India’s leading Defence public sector undertaking shipyards under the Ministry of Defence continuing their service to the nation with «Make in India» programme. They delivered the second Scorpene submarine «KHANDERI» to the Indian Navy at an event held in Mumbai on 19 September 2019. The Acceptance Document was signed by Cmde Rakesh Anand, Chairman & Managing Director, MDL and RAdm B Sivakumar, Chief of Staff Officer (Tech), Western Naval Command in the presence of MDL Directors and Navy personnel at MDL. The submarine would soon be commissioned into the Indian Navy. It is a milestone event for MDL.
The submarine «KHANDERI» is named after the wide snouted Saw fish, a deadly sea predator of the great Indian Ocean. The first Submarine Khanderi was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 6th December 1968 and decommissioned on 18th October 1989 after more than 20 years of yeoman service to the nation. In true nautical tradition, she will now be «reincarnated» by MDL to guard the vast maritime area of our nation.
Building of the Scorpene was indeed a challenge for MDL, as the complexity of the simplest of tasks increased exponentially due to all work having to be done in the most congested of spaces. This complexity was further aggravated by the stringent tolerances required to be achieved. However, all of these challenges were accepted head-on and successfully overcome by MDL, without any compromise in quality whatsoever.
The technology utilised in the Scorpene has ensured superior features of the submarine.
The Scorpene class of submarines can undertake multifarious tasks typically undertaken by any modern submarine which include anti-surface as well as antisubmarine warfare.
With the delivery of INS Khanderi (S22), India further cements its position as a submarine building nation and MDL has lived up to its reputation as one of the India’s leading shipyards with a capacity to meet requirements of the Indian Navy by the «Indian commercial and warship building and ship repairing industry report» released in Mumbai during March, 2018 by CRISIL.
The constructions of third Scorpene at MDL, INS Karanj (S23), was started on 31st January 2018, and is currently undergoing the rigorous phase of sea trials. The fourth Scorpene, INS Vela (S24) was recently launched in May 2019, and is being prepared for sea trials, whilst the remaining two submarines, INS Vagir (S25) and INS Vagsheer (S26), are in various stages of outfitting. The Scorpene project would not have been achieved up to the current progress without the unconditional support and active encouragement of the Department of Defence Production (MoD).
It is also pertinent to mention that the two SSK submarines built by MDL in 1992 and 1994 are still serving Indian Navy, after more than 25 years. This is testimony to our skill and capability of MDL. Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited also achieved expertise in submarine refits by successfully executing the medium refit-cum-upgradation of all the four SSK class submarines of the Indian Navy. It is presently carrying out the medium refit and Life Certification of INS Shishumar, the first SSK submarine.
MDL has always been in the forefront of the nation’s progressive indigenous warship building programme. In fact, with the construction of the Leander and Godavari class frigates, Khukri class Corvettes, Missile Boats, Delhi and Kolkata class Destroyers, Shivalik class Stealth Frigates, the SSK submarines and the first Scorpene submarine under its belt, the history of modern-day MDL almost maps the history of indigenous warship building in India.
MDL’s contribution to national security and nation building continues with the P-15B Visakhapatnam class Destroyers and the P-17A class Stealth Frigates.
Recognising the challenges of the future well in time, MDL has completed an extensive modernisation programme, at the end of which, today it is building eight Warships, six Submarines, in its yard, which have four drydocks, three slipways, two Wet Basins and more than sixty thousand square metres of work shop area.
Leveraging the experience, the transfer-of-technology of the Scorpene project, and with its enhanced and upgraded infrastructure, MDL is ready for undertaking construction of future submarines projects.
According to Financial Express Online, INS Vela (S40), Indian Navy’s 4th Scorpene-class submarine, launched! In a boost to the Indian Navy’s underwater capabilities, INS Vela (S40), a Scorpene-class submarine was rolled out in the waters on Monday in the presence of the Defence Secretary Production.
This is the fourth submarine in the series of the six submarines being built at Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai under Project 75. The Scorpene-class submarine in the Indian Navy has been termed as the Kalvari-class.
The submarine after completing its out fittings at the dock based on the ocean tide was launched for extensive trials.
At the MDL, the balance two submarines INS Vagir (S41) and INS Vagsheer (S43) are in the advance stages of construction on the assembly line. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has also approved the acquisition of more than 100 heavyweight torpedoes to be equipped on six Scorpene-class submarines.
What is INS Vela (S40) submarine?
INS Vela (S40) is the fourth in the series of the six Scorpene class submarines being constructed at the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai. The out fittings on the submarine have been completed at MDL as per the contract inked between DCNS (now known as Naval Group) of France and MDL as part of Project 75.
Project 75 is already witnessing delays. Out of the six submarines under Project 75, INS Kalvari (S23) has been commissioned in Indian Navy last December. Both INS Khanderi (S22) and INS Karanj (S21) is likely to be commissioned in the Indian Navy. INS Vagir (S41) and INS Vagsheer (S43) are already in the «advanced stages of manufacturing».
As per the contract French Company DCNS (now Naval Group) and the MDL had inked in 2005, the $3.75 billion agreement for the licensed production of six submarines under Project-75 for the Indian Navy and the French Company had decided to transfer technology and jointly build in India. The contract is expected to be completed by next year.
Two other submarines INS Khanderi (S22) and INS Karanj (S21) built at MDL are in line to be commissioned in the Indian Navy. According to senior naval officers INS Khanderi (S22) has completed all trials and is in the final stages of acceptance. According to the 30-year submarine building plan approved in 1999, the Indian Navy needs at least 24 submarines to meet the growing presence of the Chinese presence in the waters.
The Scorpene class submarines which have the capability to be operational in any theatre also have the capability of undertaking different types of missions, which include anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance. They have top end stealth features which includes advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons.
The Indian Navy is currently operating 4 German HDW-class and 9 Russian Kilo-class submarines. In 2000 July, it had inducted a conventional diesel-electric submarine, INS Sindhushastra (S65), procured from Russia.
INS Khanderi (S51), the second of Indian Navy’s Scorpene’ class stealth submarine, was «launched» by the Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri, Doctor Subhash Bhamre paving the way for her sea trials. Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff and a host of other dignitaries witnessed the launch at Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited on 12 January, 2017.
The submarine is expected to be delivered to Navy by the year end. She has been christened after her illustrious predecessor, an erstwhile «Foxtrot» class submarine decommissioned in 1989, which is as per the traditions of Indian Navy. The construction of six Scorpene submarines is presently being progressed at Mazagon Dock Shipyard Limited (MDL), under Project 75 with Transfer of Technology from M/s DCNS, France as the Collaborator. The first of the class submarine, INS Kalvari (S50) is presently undergoing sea trials and likely to be commissioned into Navy by Mid-2017. These submarines, post induction, would form the core of Navy’s conventional Submarine Arm.
Speaking on the occasion Doctor Subhash Bhamre said that Project 75 Kalvari is a key milestone in self-reliance and indigenization for the country. Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval Staff said during his address that the fact that Submarine INS Khanderi (S51) compares with the best in the world, speaks highly of the experience and expertise our shipbuilders have gained over the years. He added that as Indian Navy celebrates Golden Jubilee of the submarine arm in 2017, the induction of Project 75 submarines would mark the beginning of a new chapter in our submarine capabilities.
The launching of Khanderi also marks a critical milestone event for the Shipyard which earlier has delivered two Shishumar class submarines in the 90’s and has now strengthened its position as a submarine building yard for Indian Navy. Started as a small dry dock facility for East India Company, MDL today has established itself as a forefront Defence Public Sector Undertaking, with indigenous construction of several ships and submarines for Navy such as P 15 B Destroyers and P 17 A class stealth Frigates being the latest.