INS Vagir, the fifth submarine of the Kalvari Class submarines, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Monday, with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral K Hari Kumar stating that the induction will boost the country’s maritime strength and add teeth to deterrence.
Built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) with technology transfer from France, the INS Vagir is the fifth submarine of Project 75 Kalvari class and was inducted into the Navy at the naval dockyard in Mumbai. It will be ready for maiden surface sea sorties sometime between March and April.
Speaking on the occasion, the Navy Chief Admiral said the commissioning of Vagir “will give a significant fillip to the Indian Navy’s operational might and serve as a potent deterrent for any adversary,” hinting at China that is increasingly trying to dominate the Indian Ocean region.
“Vagir derives the name from the ‘sand shark’, a deadly deep-sea predator of the Indian Ocean, and true to the name, in its new avatar too, she is a lethal platform with a formidable weapon package and state-of-the-art stealth technology,” Admiral Kumar told the gathering.
INS Vagir is a re-incarnation of the erstwhile Vagir, which served the Indian Navy for three decades, said the Navy Chief while mentioning the tradition that ‘old ships and submarines never die’.
Describing the induction of the submarine as “no small achievement”, Admiral Kumar stated that it underscores the coming of age of India’s shipbuilding industry and the maturing of our defence ecosystem. “It is also a shining testimony to the expertise and experience of our shipyards to construct complex and complicated platforms,” he said.
MDL Chairman and Managing Director, Narayan Prasad, said Vagir completed sea trials in 11 months from February 2022.
He too obliquely referred to China as he commented that the submarine’s commissioning comes at a very crucial time when the geopolitical environment demands that the country respond adequately to safeguard its national interest. Agreeing with Admiral Kumar, Prasad also stated that Vagir is a shining example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
The Navy said its equipped with some of the best sensors in the world, adding to the weapons package that houses sufficient wire-guided torpedoes and sub-surface to surface missiles to neutralise a large enemy fleet. Vagir has a state-of-the-art torpedo decoy system for self defence, the Navy said in the statement.