: Mumbai, April 20, 2022
Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) continues to blaze a glorious trail in India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, with the planned launch of ‘Vagsheer’ – the sixth Scorpene Submarine of Project-75 today, by Smt. Veena Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar being the Chief Guest on the occasion. Post launch, the Submarine will undergo a very comprehensive and rigorous set of tests and trials, for more than a year, to ensure delivery of a fully combat worthy submarine, capable of operation in all modes and regimes of deployment.
The state-of-art technology utilised in the Scorpene has ensured superior stealth features (such as advanced acoustic absorption techniques, low radiated noise levels, hydro-dynamically optimised shape etc.) and the ability to launch a crippling attack on the enemy using precision guided weapons. The attack can be launched with both torpedoes and tube launched anti-ship missiles, whilst underwater or on surface. The stealth of this potent platform is enhanced by the special attention provided to her characteristic underwater signatures. These stealth features give it an invulnerability, unmatched by most submarines.
Vagsheer is named after the Sand Fish, a deadly deep sea predator of the Indian Ocean. The first Submarine Vagsheer, ex-Russia, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 26 December 1974, and was decommissioned on 30 April 1997 after almost three decades of yeoman service to the nation. In true nautical tradition, she finds a new incarnation, by the same name. Vagsheer, infused with new life, by Mazagon Dock, once again a very powerful predator of the deep, guarding the vast maritime interests of our nation.
Building the Scorpene Submarine was indeed a challenge for MDL, as the complexity of the simplest of tasks increased exponentially due to all work having to be done in the most congested of spaces. This complexity was further aggravated by the stringent clearances and tolerances, which were required to be achieved, and maintained throughout the period of construction. These challenges were, however, met head-on and successfully overcome by MDL, without any compromise in Quality or performance.
Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions i.e Anti-Surface warfare, Anti-Submarine warfare, Intelligence gathering, Mine Laying, Area Surveillance etc. The Submarine is designed to operate in all theatres of operation, showcasing interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It is a potent platform, marking a transformational shift in submarine operations.
With the launching of Vagsheer, India further cements its position as a Submarine Building Nation and MDL has more than lived up to its reputation as ‘Warship and Submarine Builders to the Nation’. This is totally in sync with the current impetus of the Government towards ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’.
Four Submarines of the ongoing Project-75 Scorpene programme at MDL, Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela have been commissioned into the Indian Navy. The Fifth Submarine Vagir is under Sea trials phase, whilst sixth and last Submarine will also undergo Sea trials after launching. The Scorpene project would not have achieved the current progress without the unconditional support, course correction and active encouragement of the Department of Defence Production (MoD) and Indian Navy throughout it’s various phases of construction.
Notably, the two SSK submarines built by MDL during 1992 – 1994 are still in active service today, after more than 25 years, which is a testimony to the professionalism and capability of Mazagon Dock personnel. MDL also achieved expertise in submarine refits by successfully executing the Medium Refit-cum-Upgradation of all the four SSK class submarines of the Indian Navy. It is presently carrying out the Medium Refit and Life Certification of INS Shishumar, the first SSK submarine.
MDL’s contribution to national maritime security and nation building continues with the current ongoing construction of 03 in no. P-15B Visakhapatnam class Destroyers and 04 in no. P-17A Nilgiri class Stealth Frigates. Being sensitive and aware of the challenges of the future well in time, MDL has undertaken and completed an extensive mordernisation programme for its infrastructure and facilities, at the end of which it has 04 Drydocks, 03 Slipways, 02 Wet Basins and more than sixty Thousand square metres of workshop area, with a capacity to build 10 capital warships and 11 submarines simultaneously. In fact, with the construction of varied ranges of combat platforms such as the Leander and Godavari class Frigates, Khukri class Corvettes, Coast Guard OPVs, 1241 RE class Missile Boats, Delhi and Kolkata class Destroyers, Shivalik class Stealth Frigates, SSK submarines and the Scorpene submarines under its belt, the history of modern day MDL is synonymous with indigenous warship and submarine building in India.
Source: PRO Defence/JPS/SC/PM