Indian Navy Updates

[pib] Project-75


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.

About Vagir

  • 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.
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