Indian Navy Commissions 5th Kalvari Class Submarine 'INS Vagir''

Indian Navy Commissions 5th Kalvari Class Submarine 'INS Vagir''

January 23, 2023 - 7:22 am

'Sand Shark' Scorpene Submarine INS Vagir Boosts To Maritime Security

The Indian Navy commissioned its fifth Kalvari class submarine named 'Vagir' at the naval dockyard in Mumbai on January 23, 2023. INS Vagir has been built indigenously by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Mumbai with technology transfer, under collaboration with M/s Naval Group, France. Four submarines from the Kalvari class have already been commissioned by the Indian Navy.

INS VAGIR - ‘Sand Shark’

Vagir, which translates to "sand shark," stands for "stealth and fearlessness," traits that are important to the mindset of a submariner. Vagir has a glorious past as the submarine with the same name was commissioned in November 1973 and undertook numerous operational missions including deterrent patrols. In January 2001, it was decommissioned after over three decades of service to the country. The distinction of having the shortest build period among all submarines produced domestically to date belongs to Vagir in its new guise. Prior to being commissioned, it underwent a series of thorough acceptance checks, tough sea testing, and its first sea sortie in February 2022, which marked the start of sea trials. It is designed for multifarious missions such as anti-surface, anti-submarine, intelligence gathering, surveillance, and mine-laying. 

Strength of Scorpene Submarine

Scorpene submarines are capable of carrying out a wide range of tasks, including mine laying, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, information gathering, and area surveillance. The submarine is built to function in all operational environments and to communicate with other members of a Naval Task Force. It is a strong platform that represents a sea change in how submarine operations are conducted. The Scorpene submarines are exceptionally powerful boats with cutting-edge stealth capabilities, long-range guided torpedoes, and anti-ship missiles. Modern SONAR and sensor systems on these submarines enable remarkable operating capabilities. Additionally, they have a sophisticated Permanent Magnetic Synchronous motor (PERMASYN) for propulsion.


The commissioning of the Project-75-built submarine is expected to strengthen the Navy's ability to engage in battle at a time when China is stepping up its presence in the Indian Ocean region. Project 75 involves the construction of six submarines. The Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj, and Vela submarines from the Project-75 Scorpene programme at MDL have all been commissioned into the Indian Navy. The fifth submarine Vagir has just been commissioned today, whilst the sixth and last submarine 'Vagsheer' will also undergo sea trials after launching by the end of this year. To build a powerful deterrence against China, the navy is looking to commission the INS Arighat, the second ballistic missile nuclear submarine (SSBN) after the INS Arihant. The S4, a more sophisticated boat in the class, is also going to be built, according to the plans. The K5 (5,000 km) and K6 (6,000 km) submarine-launched ballistic missiles are being developed by the DRDO for the new class of SSBNs. A bigger, 8,000-kilometer-range missile called the K-8 has also been the focus of study and development. Even so, the Kalveri class submarines and Project -75(I) are currently the main focus of India’s naval planners. How swiftly and successfully plans will be carried out remains to be seen.

Indian Navy’s  Requirements

To fulfil its 30-year submarine-building plan, which the Cabinet Committee on Security approved in 1999 during the Kargil War, the Indian Navy requires at least 24 submarines. By 2012, 12 diesel-powered submarines were supposed to be operational, and another 12 by 2030. But persistent delays have compelled the Navy to change the strategy. The updated proposal calls for six SSNs and 18 diesel-powered submarines (nuclear-powered submarines). The Indian Navy's Programme-75 India (P-75I) project, which calls for the construction of six additional "hunter-killer" diesel-electric conventional submarines, presently seems to be in limbo.The idea was started in 2007, but due to the participants' lack of enthusiasm and the navy's complicated and strict standards, it has not yet reached any definitive level. A segment of the navy authorities is considering purchasing an additional three Scorpene class submarines as the new programme is stuck. It goes without saying that India's ability to meet deadlines will be key to the success of its submarine modernization programme.