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HomePoliticsIndiaINS Vela to add teeth to Indian Navy offensive

INS Vela to add teeth to Indian Navy offensive

The Indian Navy needs at least 18 conventional submarines, six nuclear-powered attack submarines and four nuclear-powered submarines with nuclear-tipped missiles

India’s maritime defence and offensive are getting a booster with the commissioning of the fourth diesel-electric Scorpene submarine as INS Vela in Mumbai on 25 November.

INS Vela (2019) is the fourth submarine of the first batch of six Kalvari-class submarines for the Indian Navy. It is a diesel-electric attack submarine based on the Scorpène class, designed by French naval defence and energy group DCNS and manufactured by Mazagon Dock Limited, an Indian shipyard in Mumbai.

The submarine was launched on 6 May 2019.

INS Vela was delivered to the Indian Navy on 9 November 2021 and formally commissioned into the service by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh.

INS Vela inherits its name from INS Vela (S40) which served in the navy from 1973–2010, and was the lead ship of the Vela-class. Vela is the name of an Indian fish from the stingray species known for its aggression and offensive power, and the ability to camouflage itself from predators. The ship’s mascot is a sub-ray, a portmanteau of submarine and stingray.

Under the over Rs 23,000 crore “Project-75” underway at Mazagon Docks with French collaboration for construction of six Scorpene submarines, the Indian Navy has commissioned three vessels, INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi and INS Karanj, till now.

The fifth and sixth, INS Vagir and INS Vagsheer, will be delivered over the next couple of years. The Scorpene project has faced huge time and cost overruns but it’s critical for the navy, which is grappling with an fleet of just eight Russian Kilo-class and four German HDW submarines.

The navy needs at least 18 conventional submarines, six nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) and four nuclear-powered submarines with nuclear-tipped missiles (SSBNs).

But the long-pending over Rs 42,000 crore project to construct six new-generation diesel-electric submarines with foreign collaboration is yet to take off. Under this `Project-75 India’, the six new submarines will have land-attack cruise missiles as well as air-independent propulsion (AIP) for greater underwater endurance. It will, however, take almost a decade from now for the first such submarine to roll out.

On the nuclear front, India currently has only one SSBN, INS Arihant, which is armed with short-range K-15 (750-km) missiles as of now. India has three more SSBNs under development, with INS Arighat now slated for commissioning next year after some delay.
The K-4 missiles, with a strike range of 3,500-km, in turn, will take at least one more year to be ready for induction. Countries like the US, Russia and China have SSBNs with well over 5,000-km range submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

China, which is expanding its naval presence in the Region and already fields the world’s largest navy, has 50 diesel-electric and 10 nuclear submarines. It is also set to soon begin supplying eight -class diesel-electric submarines with AIP to Pakistan.


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There is no place for sentiments in geopolitics. It's self-interest that comes first. For how long are we going to prop up Russia's defence industry as a mark of loyalty to the past?

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समाज में समता एवं अधिकारों के लिए उनका समर्पित जीवन हम सभी के लिए प्रेरणास्रोत है।

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