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The Indian Navy commissioned the INS Vagir

The fifth Scorpene class conventional submarine, INS Vagir, was commissioned into the Indian Navy.

The INS Vagir

  • The latest submarine is named after the former Vagir, a submarine that served in the Navy from 1973 to 2001 and performed a variety of operational missions.
  • The new Vagir’s construction began in 2009, and it made its first sea sortie in February of this year.
  • The submarine, also known as Sand Shark, was delivered to the Indian Navy in December 2022.

Class: Kalvari

  • A class of ships is a group of vessels that share the same make, purpose, and displacement.
  • Vagir is a submarine in the Kalvari class, which also includes the INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela, and INS Vagsheer.
  • Kalvari and Khanderi were commissioned in 2017 and 2019, respectively, while Vela and Karanj were inducted in 2021.
  • Vagir has now been commissioned, and Vagsheer will be inducted next year after being launched in 2022.
  • The current Kalvari-class submarines are named after decommissioned Kalvari classes, which included the Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj, and Vela classes, which included the Vela, Vagir, and Vagshir.

INS Vagir’s capabilities and technical specifications

  • Submarines of the Kalavari class have an estimated endurance of 50 days.
  • They can also engage in a variety of naval combat operations such as anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance, and naval mine laying.
  • These submarines are approximately 220 feet long and 40 feet tall. When surfaced, it can reach speeds of 11 knots (20 km/h) and 20 knots (37 km/h) when submerged.
  • Modern Scorpene class submarines have what is known as Air Independent Propulsion (AIP), which allows non-nuclear submarines to operate for extended periods of time without access to surface oxygen.

Strategic importance

  • 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 has one nuclear-powered submarine in the Chakra class and two other nuclear-powered vessels in the Arihant class.
  • There are also submarines from the three Diesel Electric classes — Kalvari, Shishumar, and Sindhughosh — some of which are old.
  • Nuclear-powered and diesel-electric submarines play specific roles in Carrier Battle Groups, which are formations of ships and submarines led by Aircraft Carriers.
  • According to the basic principles of submarine deployment and the minimum requirement for India to create strategic deterrence, India must have a specific number of submarines of both types in active service.
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