New Delhi, 20 April 2022: The sixth Scorpene Submarine of Project-75 was launched by Smt. Veena Ajay Kumar at the Mazagon Docks, Mumbai on 20 Apr 2022 as part of ‘Make in India’ initiative. Dr Ajay Kumar, IAS, Defence Secretary was the Chief Guest for the event. Member of Parliament Shri Arvind Sawant, FOC-in-C (West) Vice Adm Ajendra Bahadur Singh, VCNS Vice Adm SN Ghormade, CMD MDL Vice Adm Narayan Prasad (Retd) and other senior dignitaries were also present for the occasion.
The Chief Guest, Dr Ajay Kumar, while addressing the media, said “Vagsheer will undergo rigorous sea trials for more than a year and will be commissioned later as a fully combat worthy submarine”. The Chief Guest also lauded the role of Mazagon Docks and Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) as the nation’s premier shipbuilder and was confident that it would lead the national indigenisation effort in two vital aspects of maritime construction viz. propulsion and transmission.
Vagsheer is named after the Sand Fish, a deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean. The first Submarine Vagsheer, ex-Russia, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 26 December 1974 and decommissioned on 30 April 1997 after almost three decades of yeoman service to the nation. In true nautical tradition, she finds a new incarnation, by the same name. Vagsheer, infused with new life, by Mazagon Dock, will once again be guarding the vast maritime interests of our nation.
The state-of-art technology utilised in the Scorpene class submarines has ensured superior stealth features (such as advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape etc.) and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth of this potent platform is enhanced by the special attention provided to her characteristic underwater signatures. These stealth features give it an invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines.
Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, Intelligence gathering, Mine Laying, Area Surveillance etc. The Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres of operation, showcasing interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It is a potent platform, marking a transformational shift in submarine operations.
With the launching of Vagsheer, India further cements its position as a Submarine Building Nation and MDL has lived up to its reputation as ‘Warship and Submarine Builders to the Nation’. This is in sync with the current impetus of the Government towards ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’.
Four Submarines of the ongoing Project-75 Scorpene programme at MDL, Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela have been commissioned into the Indian Navy. The Fifth Submarine Vagir is under sea trials phase, whilst sixth and last Submarine will also commence sea trials after launching. MDL’s contribution to national maritime security and nation building continues with the current ongoing construction of three P-15B Visakhapatnam class Destroyers and four P-17A Nilgiri class stealth Frigates.
Being sensitive and aware of the challenges of the future, MDL has undertaken and completed an extensive modernisation programme for its infrastructure and facilities, at the end of which it has four Drydocks, three Slipways, two Wet Basins and more than sixty thousand square metres of workshop area, with a capacity to build 10 capital warships and 11 submarines simultaneously. This infrastructure is indeed a National Asset.