Scorpene-class submarine INS Vela

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    The fourth Scorpene class conventional submarine, INS Vela, was commissioned into the Navy.

    • The Navy also issued the Request For Proposal for procurement of six advanced submarines under Project-75I.

    About 

    • Vela, being named after a type of Indian fish belonging to the stingray family, the crest depicts the fish swimming across the blue seas. 
      • 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.
    • The submarine’s mascot is the Sub-ray which is an amalgamation of the submarine and the stingray which symbolises the metamorphosis of the submarine’s character with the qualities of a stingray.
    • “Vela has taken the ‘Make in India’ spirit a notch higher with the fitment indigenised battery cells, which power a very silent permanently magnetised propulsion motor.
    • The new INS Vela carries forward the legacy of its namesake, the erstwhile Vela which was commissioned on August 31, 1973, as the lead boat of Vela class submarines and was decommissioned on January 25, 2010.
    • 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.

    About P-75I 

    • 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.
    • P-75I envisages indigenous construction of six modern conventional submarines with contemporary equipment, weapons and sensors including a Fuel-Cell based Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system, advanced torpedoes, modern missiles and state-of-the-art countermeasure systems.
    • The overall aim would be to progressively build indigenous capabilities in the public/private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon systems for the future needs of the Armed Forces.
    • It will be an important step towards meeting broader national objectives, encouraging self-reliance and aligning the defence sector.
    • The project is part of the 30 Year Plan for indigenous submarine construction which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security way back in 1999. 
      • It envisaged the construction of 24 submarines with the first 12 in collaboration with foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) by 2012 and the remaining 12, indigenously thereafter.
    • However, only three submarines have been commissioned and no more than another three will be commissioned by 2030.

    Source: TH