INS Kalvari Current Affairs - 2019

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4th Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela launched

The Indian Navy launched fourth Stealth Scorpene-Class submarine ‘INS Vela’ at state owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This is fourth submarine that was launched by MDL after it entered into contract with French collaborator Ms Naval Group (earlier known as DCNS) for construction and transfer of technology for six Scorpene class submarines under Project 75.

INS Vela

  • It is named ‘Vela’ after erstwhile ‘INS Vela’ (second batch of Foxtrot class submarines taken by India from erstwhile USSR) which was first commissioned in Indian Naval service on 31 August 1973 and continued in service for 37 years. It was India’s oldest submarine when it was decommissioned on 25 June 2010.

Key Features of INS Vela

  • It is equipped with modern machinery and technology to guard seas but will undergo several tests by Indian Navy before getting commissioned in defence fleet.
  • It is a diesel-electric attack submarine of Kalvari-class.
  • State-of-the-art attacking capability: it can attack using torpedoes and tube launch anti-ship missiles, whilst on surface or underwater.
  • Stealth: it has superior stealth which gives it invulnerability and makes more difficult for enemy to detect it.
  • Multifarious types of missions: It can undertake missions such as anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, area surveillance, intelligence gathering, mine laying etc. and has ability to launch crippling attack on enemy using precision guided weapon.
  • Operability: It can operate in all theatres, including tropics.

Project 75

  • Under it, MDL will manufacture six Scorpene class submarines (which are next generation diesel submarines) for Indian Navy under technology transfer from Naval Group of France ($3.75 billion contract signed in 2005). The induction of all submarines is expected to be completed by 2020.
  • Under it, submarines are being built using modular approach in which different sections are built separately and later assembled on pontoons (or floats). They are fitted with indigenously developed Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) technology by DRDO for extended endurance.

About MDL

MDL was first shipyard in India to build submarines back in 1992, when dock built INS Shalki.

NOTE: INS Kalvari, the first submarine in Scorpene class, has already been commissioned, while others are at adavance level of trial and test. The third in Scorpene series INS Karanj was launched in January 2019. The fifth Scorpene-class submarine INS Vagir and sixth Scorpene-class submarine INS Vagsheer are in advanced stages of manufacturing on the assembly line and will be launched soon.

India Signs Agreement with Russia for on Chakra III Attack Submarine

India and Russia have signed an agreement for the leasing of a nuclear-powered attack submarine for the Indian Navy for a period of 10 years.

About the Agreement

  • Russia will be delivering the Akula class submarine, to be known as Chakra III, to the Indian Navy by 2025.
  • India had earlier leased two nuclear submarines from Russia. They are INS Chakra leased in 1988 under a three-year lease and second INS Chakra was taken on lease in 2012 for a period of 10 years.
  • Russia will lease Akula class submarine for the period of 10 years at the cost of USD 3 billion.
  • Chakra III will be equipped with Indian communication systems and sensors, including the indigenously-developed USHUS integrated sonar system and Panchendriya sonar.
  • Chakra III get a unified submarine sonar and tactical control system, which are already in use on the INS Arihant. The Chakra III will also get a refurbished hull.
  • Chakra III weighing around 8,140-ton will have a submerged speed of 30 knots and an operating depth of 530 meters and will be capable of carrying a crew of 73.
  • Chakra III will also be loaded with four 650-millimetre and four 533-millimetre launch tubes for firing Type 65 and Type 53 torpedoes. Both of these torpedoes are made in Russia.
  • Chakra III will be powered with 190 mW nuclear reactor.

Addition of a nuclear-powered submarine is an attempt to bolster the naval prowess of the country as a counter to attempts being made by China to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region. India has already commissioned French Scorpene submarine INS Kalvari and is in the process of inducting another French Scorpene submarine INS Khanderi.