From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : INS Vagir
Mains level : Not Much
The fifth Scorpene class conventional submarine was commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Vagir.
- The latest submarine gets its name from the erstwhile Vagir, a submarine that 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.
- In maritime parlance, a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement.
- 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.
Capabilities and technical details of INS Vagir
- The Kalavari class of submarines have 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 modern variants of the Scorpene class of submarines have what is called Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) which enables non-nuclear submarines to operate for a long time without access to surface oxygen.
- Currently, India has less number of submarines than what is required with some more of those from both types being at various stages of construction.
- India operates one submarine in the nuclear-powered class of Chakra and two other nuclear-powered vessels in Arihant.
- There are in addition to submarines belonging to three classes of Diesel Electric category — Kalvari, Shishumar and Sindhughosh, some of which are ageing.
- The nuclear-powered and diesel-electric submarines have their designated roles in the Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines with Aircraft Carriers in the lead role.
- As per the basic principles of submarine deployment and minimum requirement for India to create a strategic deterrence, there is a specific number of submarines of both types that India needs to have in active service.