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INS Vela commissioned into the Indian Navy: All you need to know

Arfa Javaid

To boost the combat capabilities of the Indian Navy, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh commissioned INS Vela into the Indian Navy's western command on 25 November 2021 at the naval dockyard in Mumbai. The commissioning of the Indian Navy's fourth Scorpene-class submarine was done under Project 75. 

INS Vela, the fourth Scorpene-class submarine, commissioned into the Indian Navy, in the presence of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, at the naval dockyard in Mumbai pic.twitter.com/7sfdO8t1FI

— ANI (@ANI) November 25, 2021

INS Vela is a potent man o' war and is capable of offensive operations that span across the entire spectrum of maritime warfare, according to a statement issued by the Indian Navy.

About INS Vela Submarine 

INS Vela: Launch and Trials

Launched in May 2019, INS Vela completed all the harbour and sea trials despite COVID-induced restrictions.

Who Built INS Vela?

The diesel-electric submarine, INS Vela, was jointly built by Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd and M/s Naval Group of France.

INS Vela Specifications

It is 67.6 m long and is 12.3 m high. The beam of the submarine is 6.2 m. The submarine can reach up to a top speed of 20 knots when underwater and a speed of 11 knots when above water. It draws power from four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines and 360 battery cells.

INS Vela Named After

The submarine is named after a decommissioned submarine Vela that served the Indian Navy between 1973-2010. The previous avatar of Vela belonged to the Foxtrot class submarine of the Soviet Union. 

INS Vela Submarine: What are the stealth and combat capabilities?

The Submarine has advanced stealth and combat capabilities such as advanced acoustic silencing techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision-guided weapons.

It houses a C303 anti-torpedo countermeasure system. The submarine can carry up to 18 torpedoes or Exocet anti-ship missiles or 30 mines in place of torpedoes. Attacks can be carried out using both torpedoes as well as tube-launched anti-ship missiles at the same time, underwater or on the surface.

The submarine has a silent Permanently Magnetized Propulsion Motor. The hydroplanes, fin, and hull of the submarine have been designed for minimum underwater resistance. All equipment inside the pressure hull is mounted on shock-absorbing cradles for enhanced stealth.

Scorpene-class submarines

The state-of-the-art Scorpene-class submarines can undertake multifarious missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc. They are designed to operate in all theatres with the means to ensure interoperability.

What is Project 75?

Project 75 was undertaken by the IK Gujral government in 1997 for the acquisition of 24 submarines which evolved into a 30-year plan for building submarines. 

In 2005, a $3.75 billion agreement was inked between India and France to build six Scorpene-class submarines. India's Mazgon Docks Ltd and France's DCNS are the executing companies and are known as Naval Group. The project was delayed as the French Government was hesitant to act on the commitment for “transfer of technology”, an integral part of the agreement. 

Submarines commissioned under Project 75

1- The first submarine in the series, INS Kalvari, was launched in October 2015 and was commissioned in December 2017-- five years behind schedule over the transfer of technology. 

2- INS Khanderi, the second submarine, was launched in January 2017 for trials and commissioned in September 2019. 

3- The third one, INS Karanj, was launched in January 2018 and commissioned into the Navy on March 10, 2021. 

4- INS Vela is the fourth submarine that has been commissioned into the Indian Navy on 25 November 2021.  

5- The fifth one, INS Vagir, was launched in November 2020 and has commenced harbour trials.

6- The sixth submarine, INS Vagsheer, is in its advanced stage of construction. 

Also Read | Why is India planning to fit Li-ion batteries in the future Indian Navy submarines?

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