GS Paper - 3 (Defence Technology)

The Indian Navy on 25 November 2021 commissioned India’s fourth Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela at the naval dockyard in Mumbai. This is the fourth of the six submarines the Indian Navy is to induct under the Kalvari-class submarine Project-75. It was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in collaboration with M/s Naval Group of France.

What

  1. INS Vela has the ability to undertake an entire spectrum of submarine operations.
  2. Vela is named after a decommissioned submarine Vela, which served the Navy from 1973 to 2010.
  3. The earlier Vela belonged to Foxtrot class submarine of Soviet origin.
  4. The submarine 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.
  5. This is the second major induction in the Indian Navy in less than a week. On 21 November 2021, the Navy commissioned warship INS Visakhapatnam.

What is Project 75?

  1. Conceptualised for the acquisition for 25 submarines at the time of the IK Gujral government, P 75 evolved into a 30-year plan for building submarines.
  2. In 2005, India and France signed a $ 3.75 billion contract for building six Scorpene class submarines.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. As a result, the first of the six subs, INS Kalvari, was commissioned five years behind schedule, in 2017.