MDL launched "Vagsheer", the sixth and final submarine of project P-75
The submarine was launched by India’s Defence Secretary AjayKumar. Named after sandfish, a deadly deep water sea predator of the Indian Ocean, the first submarine ‘Vagsheer’ was commissioned in December 1974. It was decommissioned in April 1997.
“INS Vagsheer will now go undergo sea trials and will be later commissioned. The launch of this submarine is an example of India becoming self-reliant”
India’s Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar
Four of the six submarines have been commissioned to date: INS Kalvari (December 2017), INS Khanderi (September 2019), INS Karanj (March 2021) and INS Vela (November 2021). Sea trials of the INS Vagir are underway. The final submarine, INS Vagsheer is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy in March 2024.
About India’s conventional submarine programs
According to official documents, the Indian Navy has two ongoing conventional submarine programs, with a third one on the way.
Phase I – P-75
Six submarines of Scorpene-class (P-75) are to be constructed at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai. The submarines are designed by French naval shipbuilder Naval Group and are being manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. Three submarines of the project namely INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela have been commissioned. Two submarines remain to be inducted with the Indian Navy. The last submarine is likely to be delivered in Q1 2024.
Phase I – P-75(I)
Six submarines are to be constructed under P-75(I) under the Strategic Partnership model promulgated by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on 31 May 2017. AoN for the case has been accorded by DAC on 27 February 2019. A multidisciplinary Empowered Project Committee (EPC) has been constituted by MoD on 15 February 2019 to steer the project from ‘EoI issuance’ to ‘Contract Conclusion’. The Request for Expression of Interest (REoI) for shortlisting of SPs and Foreign, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) was issued on 20 June 2019 and 02 July 2019 respectively. The response of SPs have been received on 11 September 2019. The response of Foreign OEMs have been received on 24 September 2019. The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the case would be issued in mid-2020. The induction of the submarines would be between 2027-2032.
Twelve submarines of an indigenous design are envisaged to be constructed in India in this phase with the experience gained and technology absorbed from the construction of submarines under Phase I.
About Scorpène type submarine
Scorpène is a conventional submarine designed by the Naval Group for the export market. It demonstrates both the Naval Group’s ability to deliver best-in-class submarines and to conduct successful transfers of technology. Today 14 Scorpène submarines are in operational service or being built, for the Chilean Navy (2 units), the Malaysian Navy (2 units), the Indian Navy (6 units), and the Brazilian Navy (4 units).
The Scorpène design is adapted to fit each navy’s specific requirements. Thus, the Brazilian Scorpène is slightly longer to carry a larger crew, almost double the patrol range, and be able to cover greater distances.
Scorpène is ideally suited for action and operational effectiveness. Robust and enduring, it’s an ocean-going submarine also designed for shallow waters operations. Multipurpose, it fulfills the entire scope of missions such as anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, special operations, offensive minelaying and intelligence gathering. Integrating improvements from the French Barracuda-Class fast-attack submarine, Scorpène has cutting-edge capabilities.
P75 Kalvari-class key data
+10 m with the future AIP Plug
-Up to 52 days
Surface: 1615 tons
Submerged: 1775 tons
-Up to 44 men
-High level of automation allowing the crew to be limited to 25, not counting
-Ability to carry and operate commandos
-6 x 533mm tubes
-Up to 18 heavyweight weapons.
-SM-39 Exocet antiship missile (MBDA)
-SUT 266 Legacy heavyweight torpedo (Atlas Elektronik)