Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh will commission INS Vela, the country’s fourth Scorpene-class submarine, on Thursday, two days after Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) delivered it following over two years of sea trials. The submarine is seen as a major shot in the arm for the Indian Navy’s strength and capability.
MDL built INS Vela, the diesel-electric submarine known to have advanced stealth and combat capabilities, in Mumbai. INS Vela is the fourth submarine in the series that was launched in May 2019.
The first, INS Kalvari, was launched in October 2015 and commissioned in December 2017, five years behind schedule. INS Khanderi, the second, was commissioned in September 2019 after its launch in January 2017 for trials. The third, INS Karanj, was launched in January 2018 and commissioned on March 10, 2021. INS Vagir, The fifth one, was launched in November 2020 and has commenced harbour trials. It is expected to go for its first surface sortie in December. INS Vagsheer, the sixth submarine, is in the advanced stage of outfitting.
“The delivery of four submarines–Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj, and now Vela–reaffirmed India’s membership in the exclusive group of submarine-building nations,” said Ashish Singh, the public relations manager at MDL.
Scorpene-class submarines can undertake multifarious missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc. They are designed to operate in all theatres with the means to ensure interoperability.
The state-of-the-art technology used in the construction of Scorpene-class submarines has ensured improved stealth features. The features include advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape, and the ability to launch an attack using precision-guided weapons. Attacks can be carried out using both torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles at the same time, underwater or on the surface.