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The Sixth Scorpene Class Submarine “Vagsheer” Launched

by Raju Vernekar
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By: Raju Vernekar
Mumbai, April 21:

The sixth and last Scorpene-class submarine “Vagsheer” under project 75, was launched by Mrs. Veena Ajay Kumar and Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar in a spectacular ceremony held at Mazagon Docks in South Mumbai on Wednesday.
On the occasion, Dr. Kumar said that the launch of all the six Scorpene-class submarines with 90 percent indigenization before the stipulated time, is the best example of “Atmnirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India). The Defence Ministry has vowed to continue to produce more assets indigenously as part of the marine security.
Under the iDEX Make-1 program, the marine diesel engines will be manufactured in strategic partnership with the industry. “We want to link the Information Technology with these projects. Five projects have been identified and the tenders have been floated. The Government of India will share 70 percent project cost, under the iDEX Make-1 program, he added. 
Dr. Kumar said that India is supplying Naval boats to different countries and Indian shipyards offer the best repair and maintenance facilities. The country is going to be a top exporter of defence equipment and vessels in the world soon. He also stated that a team of US Defence experts will be visiting India to discuss certain projects shortly.
After “start-up India” was inaugurated by the prime minister in 2018, the technology acquisition has been moving with a rapid speed and now there is a total transformation in the Defence sector. “We are going in for several innovations and have introduced unmanned patrol vessels, counter unmanned systems, etc, Dr. Kumar added.  
All the six submarines under project 75, have been built under the Western Naval Command. Of these four submarines- INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, and INS Vela have been commissioned, the fifth submarine INS Vagir is in an undersea trial phase and is expected to be commissioned within a year. The cost of the six submarine projects is Rs 24,000 crore.
Vagsheer is based on modular construction basis and all parts are inter-connected. The scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions i.e. anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance, etc.
The state-of-art technology utilized in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features (such as advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimized 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 the surface. The stealth of this potent platform is enhanced by the special attention provided to her characteristic underwater signatures. 
The submarine is named after the sandfish, a deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean. The first Submarine Vagsheer, ex-Russia, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on December 26, 1974, and was decommissioned on April 30, 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, is once again a very powerful predator of the deep, guarding the vast maritime interests of our nation.
Vice Admiral (Retd) Narayan Prasad, CMD, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) said that the MDL continues to blaze a glorious trail in India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Building the Scorpene Submarine was indeed a challenge for MDL, as the complexity of the simplest of tasks increased exponentially due to all work having to be done in the most congested of spaces. This complexity was further aggravated by the stringent clearances and tolerances, which were required to be achieved, and maintained throughout construction. These challenges were, however, met head-on and successfully overcome by MDL, without any compromise in quality or performance. With the launch of Vagsheer, India has further cemented its position as a Submarine Building Nation and MDL has more than lived up to its reputation as ‘Warship and Submarine Builders to the Nation’, he added. 
Commander (Retd) Jasbir Singh, Director(submarines and Heavy Engineering) said that with the construction of Vagsheer, the confidence of the entire MDL team has doubled and it is confident to undertake many more such projects.
Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Satish Ghormade, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh and other officers participated in the launch ceremony.
The religious rituals amid chanting of mantras and verses preceded the launch. The gaily decorated submarine was lowered into the water from MDL Yard 11880 accompanied by the blowing of Tutaris and a Naval band playing “Sare Jahan Se Accha” at 12.18 pm. The tri-colour balloons were released into the air to mark the event.
Now the submarine will undergo a comprehensive and rigorous set of tests and trials, to ensure delivery of a fully combat-worthy submarine, capable of operation in all modes and regimes of deployment.

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