India Launches Sixth Scorpene-Class Submarine
India has launched its last of six Scorpene-class submarines, the INS Vagsheer, in Mumbai, the navy announced last week.
“The sixth submarine will now commence setting to work of various equipment and their harbour trials,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.
“The crew will thereafter sail the submarine for the rigorous sea acceptance trials after which the submarine would be delivered to the Navy by late next year.”
In October 2005, the country’s shipbuilding agency Mazagon Docks Limited signed a $3.75 billion contract under Project-75 to build the six submarines in collaboration with Naval Group, France.
India has already commissioned the first four vessels: INS Kalvari (2017), INS Khanderi (2019), INS Karanj (2021), and INS Vela (2021). The fifth vessel, Vagir, launched last November, is undergoing sea trials.
About INS Vagsheer
The INS Vagsheer was named after the previous submarine Vagsheer, which was commissioned in December 1974 and decommissioned in April 1997.
One of India’s most advanced vessels, the sub is equipped with a potent array of weapons, advanced SONAR, and a sensor suite. The Vagsheer is expected to join the navy fleet 12 to 18 months after finishing sea trials.
Scorpene-class submarines are capable of anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, and surveillance.
The vessels have a length of 67.5 meters (220 feet), a height of 12.3 meters (40 feet), a beam of 6.2 meters (20 feet), reaching a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 kilometers/23 miles per hour) underwater and 11 knots (20 kilometers/13 miles per hour) on the surface.
India’s Submarine Program
The Indian Navy currently has a total of 16 submarines, including Russian Kilos, German HDWs, four Scorpenes, and the indigenous INS Arihant.
The Indian government is considering building six more advanced submarines under Project-75I, currently in the proposal stage.