By Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, January 23
INS Vagir, the fifth submarine of the Kalvari Class, built by the Mazagon Dock builders Limited (MDL), with technology transfer from France, was commissioned at the Indian Naval Dockyard in South Mumbai, in a ceremony attended by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar on Monday.
In his address Admiral R Hari Kumar said that “Vagir” is a lethal platform with a formidable weapon package. She is the third submarine inducted into the Indian Navy in a span of 24 months and added that it was a shining testimony to the expertise of India’s shipyards to construct complex and complicated platforms.
It is a tradition in the Indian Navy that old ships and submarines never die and in keeping with that spirit, the submarine in front of us is a reincarnation of erstwhile “Vagir” which served India and Indian Navy for three decades,” Admiral Kumar said.
The Kalvari class submarines are being built in India by the MDL, Mumbai, in collaboration with Naval Group, France.
The submarine will boost the Indian Navy’s capability to further India’s maritime interests in deterring the enemy, and conducting Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) to provide decisive blow in the times of crisis,” the Indian Navy’s statement read.
A formal pooja was performed before the commissioning of the submarine, even as a sound of Tutari, the trumpet of the Maratha tradition rent the air. Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, WNC Vice Admiral A B Singh, CMD MDL Narayan Prasad, Admiral (Retd) K R Menon, other officers and MDL staff members in large number were present on the occasion.
INS Vagir has the capability of launching marine commandos for special Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), while its powerful diesel engines can quickly charge batteries for a stealth mission. For self defence, it has a state of the art torpedo decoy system, the Navy statement added.
The submarine is equipped with some of the best sensors in the world. Her weapons package includes sufficient wire-guided torpedoes and sub-surface to surface missiles to neutralise a large enemy fleet. She is capable of undertaking diverse missions including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and surveillance missions.
Launched and named “Vagir” on 12 November 12, 2020, the submarine in its new avatar has the distinction of having the lowest build time among all indigenously manufactured submarines till date. She undertook her maiden sea sortie in February 2022, marking the commencement of sea trials and went through a series of comprehensive acceptance checks and, stringent and demanding sea trials prior being commissioned. The submarine was delivered to Indian Navy by M/s MDL on December 20,2022.
‘Vagir’ means sand shark, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean, which represents stealth and fearlessness, two qualities synonymous with the ethos of a submariner.
The erstwhile “Vagir” was commissioned on November 01, 1973 and undertook numerous operational missions including deterrent patrols. She was decommissioned on January 07, 2001 after serving the nation for about three decades.