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Here’s all about INS Vela, the 4th Stealth Scorpene-Class Submarine inducted by Indian Navy

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Here’s all about INS Vela, the 4th Stealth Scorpene-Class Submarine inducted by Indian Navy

New Delhi: The Indian Navy on Thursday commissioned Vela, the fourth submarine of Scorpene-class under Project 75 at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, in the presence of the chief of naval staff Admiral Karambir Singh. This will be the second addition to the Indian Navy’s fleet of warships after INS Vishakapatnam’s commissioning on Sunday.

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Project 75

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Conceptualised for the acquisition for 25 submarines during IK Gujral regime, Project 75 evolved into a 30-year plan for building submarines. In 2005, India and France signed a $ 3.75 billion contract for building six Scorpene class submarines. The executing company on the Indian side is Mazgaon Docks Ltd, and on the French side, it is DCNS, which is now called Naval Group. The project has been dogged by delays and questions over the reluctance of the French government to act on the commitment for “transfer of technology” that was an integral part of the contract. As a result, the first of the six subs, INS Kalvari, was commissioned five years behind schedule, in 2017.

Development so far

After ‘Kalvari’, two more submarines under the contract, INS ‘Khanderi’ and INS ‘Karanj’, were commissioned. Vela is the fourth, and sea trials are ongoing for ‘Vagir’, while the sixth, ‘Vagsheer’, is under construction.

How did Vela get its name

Vela is named after a decommissioned submarine Vela, which served the Navy from 1973 to 2010. The earlier Vela belonged to Foxtrot class submarine of Soviet origin.

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Carrying capacity of Vela

The naval submarine can reportedly take up to eight officers and 35 men.

Weapons on Vela

Vela is equipped with C303 anti torpedo countermeasure system, and can carry up to 18 torpedoes or Exocet anti-ship missiles or 30 mines in place of torpedoes.

Vela’s home base

Vela will be commissioned into the Indian Navy’s western command, and will be based in Mumbai.

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Delay in Vela’s commissioning

The sea trials of Vela were delayed due to Covid 19 pandemic, which led to a delay in its commissioning.

Specifications of Vela and its engine power?

Vela has a length of 67.5 metres and height of 12.3 metres. The beam measures 6.2 metres. It can reach a top speed of 20 knots when submerged and a surface top speed of 11 knots.

The submarine has four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines and 360 battery cells for power, and has a silent Permanently Magnetised Propulsion Motor. The hull, fin and hydroplanes are designed for minimum underwater resistance and all equipment inside the pressure hull is mounted on shock-absorbing cradles for enhanced stealth.

Vela is a diesel-electric powered attack submarine, designed to act as “sea denial” as well as “access denial” warfare to the adversary.

The submarine can engage in offensive operations across the entire spectrum of naval warfare, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.

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