Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) launched its fifth Scorpene-class submarine at Mazagon at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of the Mazagon Dock on Thursday. Built as a part of its Project-75, the submarine, Vagir, is the fifth of six Scorpene-class submarines built by the MDL, a public sector undertaking, and designed by French naval defence and energy company DCNS.
It was launched by Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, his wife Vijaya from Goa, along with senior naval officers and defence ministry officials attending the function from South Block in Delhi via videoconferencing. Adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols, a small gathering was held at the Mazgaon Dock. The launch of the submarine refers to its transfer from the dockyard to the water, following which it will undergo sea trials.
“After launch, the submarine will undergo comprehensive and rigorous tests and trials for more than a year to ensure delivery of a fully combat-worthy submarine, capable of operation in all modes and regimes of deployment,” read a statement by the MDL.
“After its launch, Vagir will commence with setting to work of various equipment and harbour acceptance trials. The crew will subsequently sail the submarine for sea acceptance trials, after which the submarine would be delivered to the Navy,” read a statement by the defence ministry.
Two submarines of the ongoing Project-75 Scorpene programme at MDL, Kalvari and Khanderi, were commissioned into the Navy in December 2017 and September 2019 respectively. The MDL said the third submarine, Karanj, is in its last phase of rigorous sea trials and the fourth Scorpene, Vela, has commenced sea trials. While Vagir was launched on Thursday, the sixth submarine, Vagsheer, is under construction, the MDL said.
According to the MDL, the state-of-the-art technology used in Scorpene-class submarine has given it superior stealth features such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and ability to launch a crippling attack using precision-guided weapons. The attack can be launched with torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles, while underwater or on surface. These stealth features give it invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines, while it is also designed to operate in all theatres of operation, showcasing interoperability with other components of a naval task force, the MDL said.
Vagir, like Kalvari, is named after a deadly deep sea predator. While Kalvari was named after the tiger shark, the Vagir is named after the sandfish. The first Vagir, a submarine from Russia, was commissioned into the Navy on December 3, 1973, and was decommissioned on June 7, 2001.
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