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INS Vagsheer, India’s final Scorpene-class submarine, to be launched on 20 April: Why it is a big deal for the Indian Navy

Source : Firstpost

INS Vagsheer, India’s final Scorpene-class submarine, to be launched on 20 April: Why it is a big deal for the Indian Navy
INS Vagsheer is a diesel-electric submarine, measuring about 221-feet-long and 40-feet high. (PTI)



The Indian Navy will get a further boost as it will receive INS Vagsheer, the last of the Scorpene-class submarines, on 20 April. The Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd will launch this ultra-modern submarine, which is the last submarine of the P75 Scorpene project. The INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela have already been commissioned while sea trials of the Vagir are underway.

Here’s all we know of INS Vagsheer and the P75 Scorpene project under which it was built.

Details about INS Vagsheer

INS Vagsheer is a diesel-electric submarine, measuring about 221-feet-long and 40-feet high. This submarine is primarily an attack submarine or ‘hunter-killer’ type which means it is designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.

According to reported information, the submarine can reach a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged and a maximum speed of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced.

The INS Vagsheer has four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines, 360 battery cells, for power and a silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor.

The INS Vagsheer is also considered one of the most advanced conventional submarines in the world. It will be equipped with the latest technologies in the world. This submarine is equipped with potent weapons and sensors to neutralise any threat above or below the sea surface.

It also has a state of the art SONAR and sensor suite permitting outstanding operational capabilities.As per reports, after being handed over to the Indian Navy on 20 April, the INS Vagsheer will undergo sea trials and is expected to join the naval fleet by March 2024.

What’s the P75 Scorpene project?

The Project-75 (P-75) was conceptualised at the time of IK Gujral as prime minister in April 1997. The then government had passed the order for the acquisition for 25 submarines.

Initially, the P-75 was a 30-year submarine building plan in which India was to build 24 submarines — 18 conventional submarines and six nuclear-powered submarines (SSNs).

In 2005, India and France signed a $3.75 billion contract for building six Scorpene class submarines. The executing company on the Indian side is Mazgaon Docks Ltd, and on the French side, it was DCNS, which is now called Naval Group.

So far, four submarines of this class — INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela have been commissioned. INS Kalvari was launched on 27 October 2015, and commissioned on 14 December 2017. INS Khanderi was launched on 12 January 2017, and commissioned on 28 September 2019.

INS Karanj was launched on 31 January 2018, and commissioned on 10 March, 2021. INS Vela was launched on 6 May 2019, and commissioned on 25 November, 2021. Vagir was launched on 12 November 2020.

Submarine strength of China and Pakistan

The launching of INS Vagsheer is important as India continues to face strained ties with Pakistan and China.

According to a report in The Print, Pakistan is believed to have 10 submarines, of which five French-origin Agosta 90B class (Khalid class) conventional vessels are fully operational.

On the other hand, China has six nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) that are armed with nuclear missiles, as well as around 40 attack submarines, of which six are nuclear-powered, according to Military Balance, the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ annual assessment of military capacity around the world.

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