March 31, 2023
  • The Indian Navy on Monday commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine Vagir.
  • It is among the six submarines being built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, in collaboration with the French 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.

What are the specifications of Vagir?

  • The latest submarine gets its name from the erstwhile Vagir, a submarine which served the Navy between 1973 and 2001 and undertook numerous operational missions.
  • The construction of the new Vagir began in 2009 and it took its maiden sea sortie in February last year. Also known as Sand Shark, the submarine was delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2022.

Kalvari-class background

  • Vagir is a Kalvari-class submarine, which includes other vessels, such as the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer.
    • Of these, Kalvari and Khanderi were commissioned in 2017 and 2019, and Vela and Karanj were inducted in 2021. Vagir has now been commissioned and 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, Vagshir. The now-decommissioned Kalvari and Vela classes were one of the earliest submarines in the post-independence Indian Navy, which belonged to Soviet origin Foxtrot class of vessels.
  • Like Kalvari – which means Tiger Shark, Vagir has been named after a Sand Fish, a predatory marine species. Khanderi has been named after an Island Fort built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, which played a key role in his Navy. Karanj has also been named after an Island located South of Mumbai.

Features, 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.
  • This class of submarines has Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ types which mean they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
  • The Kalavari class of submarines has an estimated endurance of approximately 50 days. They also have the capability of operating in a wide range of Naval combat including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying. These submarines are around 220 feet long and have a height of 40 feet.
  • It can reach the highest speeds of 11 knots (20 km/h) when surfaced and 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged.
  • The Kalvari class of submarines is capable of launching various types of torpedoes and missiles and is equipped with a range of surveillance and intelligence-gathering mechanisms.
  • With this, the Navy now has 16 conventional and one nuclear submarine in service. It includes seven Russian Kilo class submarines, four German HDW submarines, five Scorpene class submarines, and the indigenous nuclear ballistic missile submarine INS
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