INS Vela Joins Navy
The fourth Scorpene class conventional submarine, INS Vela, was commissioned into the Navy in the presence of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh at a ceremony in Mumbai.
- “Vela has taken the ‘Make in India’ spirit a notch higher with the fitment indigenized battery cells, which power a very silent permanently magnetized propulsion motor,” the Navy said in a statement.
- Construction of the submarine commenced with the first cutting of steel on July 14, 2009 and it was launched and named Vela on May 6, 2019.
- With this, the Navy currently has 16 conventional and one nuclear submarine in service. It includes eight Russian Kilo class submarines, four German HDW submarines, four French Scorpene submarines and the indigenous nuclear ballistic missile submarine INS Arihant.
- Vela, being named after a type of Indian fish belonging to the stingray family, the crest depicts the fish swimming across the blue seas. The submarine’s mascot is the Sub-ray which is an amalgamation of the submarine and the stingray which symbolizes the metamorphosis of the submarine’s character with the qualities of a stingray, the Navy said.
Scorpene Class Submarine
- Six Scorpene submarines are being built under Project-75 by Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai, under technology transfer from Naval Group of France under a $3.75 bn deal signed in October 2005.
- The first submarine INS Kalvari was commissioned in December 2017, second submarine INS Khanderiin September 2019 and third one INS Karanj in March 2021. The fifth submarine, Vagir, was launched in November 2020 and is undergoing sea trails while the sixth one Vagsheer is in advanced stage of outfitting.
- The Navy has drawn up plans to install Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) modules on all Scorpene submarines as they go for their refit beginning with INS Kulvari in 2023 to enhance their endurance. That hinges on the successful fitment of the indigenous AIP module developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization on board a submarine. The land-based prototype has recently undergone successful trials.