Indian Navy has commissioned its fifth stealth Scorpene class submarine INS Vagir at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai.

Under a collaboration with Naval Group of France, six Scorpene class submarines are being manufactured in India by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).

INS Vagir will be a part of the submarine fleet of the Western Naval Command.

Launched on 12 November 2020 under Project 75 (P75), Vagir was delivered to Indian Navy on 20 December 2022 after completion of sea trials.

Among all the indigenously-built submarines so far, Vagir has taken the lowest build time.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by Chief of the Naval Staff admiral R Hari Kumar along with Western Naval Command flag officer commanding-in-chief vice admiral AB Singh, MDL chairman and managing director vice admiral (retired) Narayan Prasad and other senior civil and military officials of Ministry of Defence.

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The crew of the previous Vagir, which was a Russian origin Foxtrot class submarine that was decommissioned in 2001, were also present for the ceremony.

INS Vagir will join INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela, which had been commissioned in December 2017, September 2019, March 2021 and November 2021, respectively.

The last submarine under the P75 series, the Vagsheer is finishing sea trials and will be delivered in 2024.

Claimed to be potent platforms, the Scorpenesubmarines come with advanced stealth features and equipped with long range guided torpedoes and anti-ship missiles.

These submarines also feature a ‘state-of-the-art’ SONAR suite and sensor suite allowing high operational capabilities.

Vagir is the third submarine to be inducted into the navy in a span of 24 months.

Meanwhile, the country’s Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Naval Materials Research Laboratory’s (NMRL) fuel cell-based air independent propulsion (AIP) system will soon be equipped onboard INS Kalvari.

NMRL and Naval Group of France signed an agreement in Mumbai for the extension of cooperation to enter the detailed design phase for integration of this indigenously built AIP in the Kalvari class submarines.

Under the agreement, Naval Group will certify the AIP design for integration into the submarines.

The AIP offers a multiplier impact on diesel electric submarine’s lethality given that it enhances the submerged endurance by many folds.