INDIA. MUMBAI: The sixth and last Scorpene-class submarine “Vagsheer” under project 75 was launched by Mrs. Veena Ajay Kumar and Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar in a spectacular ceremony held at Mazagon Docks in South Mumbai.
On occasion, Dr. Kumar said that the launch of all the six Scorpene-class submarines with 90 percent indigenization before the stipulated time is the best example of Atmnirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). The Defence Ministry has vowed to continue to produce more assets indigenously as part of maritime security.
Under the iDEX Make-1 program, the marine diesel engines will be manufactured in strategic partnership with the industry. “We want to link the Information Technology with these projects. Five projects have been identified, and the tenders have been floated. He added that the Government of India would share 70 percent of the project cost under the iDEX Make-1 program.
Dr. Kumar said that India supplies Naval boats to different countries and Indian shipyards offer the best repair and maintenance facilities. The country will be a top exporter of defense equipment and vessels soon. He also stated that US Defence experts would be visiting India to discuss specific projects shortly.
After “start-up India” was inaugurated by the prime minister in 2018, the technology acquisition has been moving rapidly, and now there is a total transformation in the Defence sector. “We are going in for several innovations and have introduced uncrewed patrol vessels, unmanned counter systems, etc., Dr. Kumar added.
All the six submarines under project 75 have been built under the Western Naval Command. Of these four submarines- INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, and INS Vela have been commissioned; the fifth submarine INS Vagir is in an undersea trial phase and is expected to be commissioned within a year. The cost of the six submarine projects is Rs 24,000 crore.
Vagsheer is based on modular construction basis, and all parts are inter-connected. The scorpene submarines can perform a variety of missions, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, and so on.
The Scorpene’s cutting-edge technology ensures superior stealth features (such as advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, a hydrodynamically optimized shape, etc.) and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons. Torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles can be used to establish the attack either underwater or on the surface. The special attention paid to her distinctive underwater signatures adds to this powerful platform’s stealth.
The submarine is named after the deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean, the sandfish. The first ex-Russian submarine, Vagsheer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 26, 1974, and decommissioned on April 30, 1997, after nearly three decades of exemplary service to the country. In true nautical fashion, she reincarnates under the same name. Vagsheer, given new life by Mazagon Dock, is again a formidable predator of the deep, guarding our country’s vast maritime interests.
Vice Admiral (Retd) Narayan Prasad, CMD of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), stated that the company continues to forge a glorious path in India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Building the Scorpene Submarine was a challenge for MDL because the complexity of even the simplest tasks increased exponentially due to all work having to be done in the most crowded of spaces. This complexity was exacerbated by the strict clearances and tolerances that had to be achieved and maintained throughout construction.
However, these challenges were met head-on and successfully overcome by MDL without any compromise in quality or performance. With the launch of Vagsheer, India has further cemented its position as a Submarine Building Nation, and MDL has more than lived up to its reputation as ‘Warship and Submarine Builders to the Nation’ he added.
Commander (Retd) Jasbir Singh, Director(submarines and Heavy Engineering), said that with the construction of Vagsheer, the confidence of the entire MDL team has doubled, and it is confident to undertake many more such projects.
Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Satish Ghormade, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh, and other officers participated in the launch ceremony.
The religious rituals amid chanting of mantras and verses preceded the launch. The gaily decorated submarine was lowered into the water from MDL Yard 11880, accompanied by the blowing of Tutaris and a Naval band playing “Sare Jahan Se Accha” at 12.18 pm. The tri-color balloons were released into the air to mark the event.
The submarine will undergo a comprehensive and rigorous set of tests and trials to ensure the delivery of a fully combat-worthy submarine capable of operation in all modes and regimes of deployment.
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