From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Arsenal of Indian Navy
Mains level : Modernisation of Indian Navy
The fifth Scorpene submarine of Project-75 named ‘Vagir’ has been launched at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai.
In a rare case we would see a question based on various classes of Indian Submarines in the CSP. However, we can expect a question based on Project-75 in the CSP and CAPF exam very well.
- Vagir, ex-Russia, named after the Sand Fish, a deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 3, 1973, and was decommissioned on June 7, 2001.
- In true nautical tradition, it is refurbished under the same name – Vagir.
- It is rebuilt with superior stealth features (such as advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized shape etc.) and precision-guided weapons.
- The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on the surface.
What is Project-75?
- The Project 75I-class submarine is a follow-on of the Project 75 Kalvari-class submarine for the Indian Navy.
- In the late 1990s, around the time of Kargil war, a three-decade plan took shape for indigenous construction of submarines.
- It was known to have two separate series of submarine building lines – codenamed Project 75 and Project 75I — in collaboration with foreign entities.
- Under this project, the Indian Navy intends to acquire six diesel-electric submarines, which will also feature advanced air-independent propulsion systems.
- This is for enabling them to stay submerged for longer duration and substantially increase their operational range.
Submarines commissioned till date
- The submarines in the current Kalvari-class take their names from erstwhile decommissioned classes of submarines named Kalvari.
- It included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela class — which included Vela, Vagir, Vagsheer.
- Two submarines of the ongoing project, Kalvari and Khanderi, have been commissioned into the Indian Navy.
- The third submarine, Karanj, is in the last phase of rigorous sea trials.
- The fourth Scorpene, Vela, has commenced her sea trials, whilst the sixth and last submarine, Vagsheer, is being readied for boot together.
Strategic importance of these submarines
- India currently operates one submarine each in nuclear-powered Classes of Chakra and Arihant and in addition to 14 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 at the lead role.
- As per the basic principles of submarine deployment and the 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.
- 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.
Back2Basics: Classes of Submarines in India
- In maritime terms, a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement.
- In the Navy and Coast Guard in India, the ships belonging to a particular class are named in a specific manner.
- Many times the names have the same first letters, prefixes, similar meanings or the names belong to a particular type of words for example names of cities, persons, mythological concepts, animals, rivers, mountains, weapons, etc.
- The class is generally named after the first vessel in the category. In some cases, a particular class of vessels takes their names from an earlier class of vessels which are now decommissioned.
- 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.