Indian Navy's Fifth Scorpene-Class Submarine Vagir Heads Out For Sea Trials
Four submarines of this class are already in service with the Navy.
The fifth Scorpene-class submarine of the Indian Navy, Vagir, commenced sea trials on Tuesday (1 February).
Vagir, built by Mazagon Docks Limited in Mumbai under Project 75, was launched in November last year.
Built-in collaboration with the Naval Group of France, the Scorpene-class is called Kalvari class by the Indian Navy. India had ordered six Scorpene-class boats in a deal worth $3 billion.
Four submarines of this class are already in service with the Navy. While the fifth, Vagir, is now undergoing sea trials, the sixth boat of the class, named Vagsheer after a Vela-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy commissioned in 1973, is currently under construction.
The 67.5 metres long Scorpenes, considered to be one of the quietest diesel-electric submarines in service around the world currently, displace around 1,700 tonnes when submerged. The boats, which have an endurance of around 45 days, are armed with heavyweight torpedoes, anti-ship missiles and mines.
According to the Naval Group, the submarine of this class have superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels and hydrodynamically optimised shape.
The submarines are not equipped with Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP), which gives diesel-electric/conventional submarines the ability to remain underwater for relatively long periods. Reports say the submarines will be equipped with AIP, indigenously developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The boats will be fitted with the system when undergoing their first 'mid-life refit' starting 2024-25.
The deal for six Scorpene submarines was signed in 2005, and the first submarine of the class was to be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2012. However, excessive delays and teething problems pushed the induction schedule off track.
The Indian Navy, experts say, needs more submarines to deal with the ever-growing Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean. India is currently looking to finalise an $8 billion contract to build six advanced conventional submarines with air-independent propulsion technology under Project 75(I).
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