Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela joins the Indian Navy

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Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal
Vaibhav Agrawal is the founder editor of Bhraman (a Digital Travelogue). As an independent journalist, he is passionate for investigating and reporting on complex subjects. He has an extensive background in both print and digital media, with a focus on Travel and Defence reporting. *Views are personal

The Indian Navy added another new stealth submarine to its fold amid concerns of the increased Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean, days after India Commissioned an indigenously designed stealth guided missile Destroyer which is considered India’s most powerful destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, according to official statements.

INS Vela was commissioned into the Indian Navy on Thursday. The boat is built by the Mazagon Dock shipbuilders Limited in collaboration with the Naval Group of France.

Amid times of a target

In one of these statements, the Indian Navy has described the submarine as having the capability of carrying out offensive operations that span the entire spectrum of maritime warfare.  

The statement further added that the Indian Navy’s position as a builder’s Navy has been consolidated by the induction of the submarine significantly while they have added sharpness and strength to its combat capability.

Against the backdrop of China’s increasing naval profile in the Indian Ocean region, the Indian Navy is looking forward to becoming a 170 ship force. According to the vice chief of the Naval Staff, currently, around 39 Naval ships and submarines are being constructed in various Indian shipyards which would cushion the Indian Navy reach its target to become a 170 ship force while the Indian Navy is currently equipped with around 130 ships.

Journey so far

Mazagon dock shipbuilders Limited have constructed this diesel-electric submarine which was built under project 75 in Mumbai.

Apart from the above, in October 2015, the first submarine, INS Kalvari, was launched while it was commissioned five years behind schedule in December 2017. In January 2017 the second one, INS khanderi, was launched while it was commissioned in September 2019 and in January 2018 that third submarine known to be as INS Karanj was launched and got commissioned on 10th March 2021.

On the other hand, in May 2019 the fourth in the series INS Vela was launched.

Expected to go for a maiden surface sortie in December 2021, INS Vagir, the fifth one, was launched in November 2020 and has also commenced with its harbour trials. While, INS Vagsheer, the sixth submarine is currently in the advanced stage of outfitting.

According to the PR manager at MDL, India’s membership in the Exclusive group of submarine building Nations has been reaffirmed by the delivery of these four submarines namely Kalvari, Karanj, Khanderi and now Vela.

INS Visakhapatnam 

A few days back, the Indian Navy had commissioned India’s most powerful destroyer ship, INS Visakhapatnam.

The Indian navy’s in-house organisation, the Directorate of Naval design has indigenously designed the Visakhapatnam class destroyers while it has been constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in Mumbai and the Navy is set to induct the first of the four Visakhapatnam class destroyers today.

Pact with sophisticated state of the art weapons the Visakhapatnam class destroyers stands among the Indian Navy’s most powerful and largest warships that have been constructed in India while the indigenous Steel DMR249 A is being used in the construction of these destroyers. With the capability of undertaking multifarious tasks and missions spanning the full spectrum of maritime Warfare, the ship stands as a potent platform while a significant indigenous content of approximately 75% has been equipped by the ship.

More in the Project 15B

For improved sea keeping, stealth, survivability and manoeuvrability, new design concepts are incorporated by the P15B destroyers. Through the use of radar transparent deck fittings and shaping of the hull, enhanced stealth features have been achieved thereby making these ships difficult to detect. Compared to the preceding Kolkata-class, The design around the bridge area appears to be the main design change. Two multi-role helicopters shall be carried and operated by these ships.

Of the total order of four vessels for the Indian Navy, Visakhapatnam is the first of them. Back in 2013, the first-in-class ship was laid down while it was launched in April 2015 and was followed by the future INS Mormugao. In 2019, the third destroyer, Imphal, was launched and Porbandar, which shall be the fourth and final vessel of the class is expected to be launched the next year. Visakhapatnam shall be commissioned in December 2021.

India’s current position

Alongside the United States Russia the United kingdom’s France and China India stands among the six Nations that are equipped with SSNs. India had received its first SSN back in 1987 from the Soviet Navy which it rechristened as INS Chakra that was however decommissioned in 1991. That said, INS Chakra 2 which was another Russian SSN was received by India on a 10 year Lease in 2012 and has since been returned to Russia.

Six of the twelve submarines which are to be built indigenously after the P75 and P75i projects would be SSNs instead of SSK, as decided by the government. With the first expected to be delivered by 2025, India is taking two SSNs on lease from Russia.


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