Attack submarine INS Vela inducted into Indian Navy

Published : November 25, 2021 20:18 IST

At the commissioning ceremony of INS Vela at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on November 25. Photo: KUNAL PATIL/PTI

INS Vela, the indigenously built Scorpene-class, conventional, diesel-electric-powered attack submarine became the second warship in five days to be commissioned into the Indian Navy on November 25.

INS Vela, which has advanced stealth features and is equipped with long-range guided torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, will form part of the Western Naval Command’s submarine fleet. It can reach a top speed of 20 knots when submerged and a surface top speed of 11 knots.

As stated by the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, INS Vela can undertake the “entire spectrum of submarine operations”. It is capable of embarking on offensive operations spanning the entire gamut of maritime warfare, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying and area surveillance.

Fitted with advanced weapons and sensors, all of which are integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System, or SUBTICS, INS Vela can, once a target is classified, choose to engage it using either sea-skimming missiles or heavyweight wire-guided torpedoes. Marking the formal induction of the submarine into the Indian Navy, Admiral Karambir Singh said: “Given today’s dynamic and complex security situation, its capability and firepower will play a crucial role in enhancing the Navy's ability to protect India’s maritime interests.”

INS Vela is the fourth submarine in the series of six submarines under Project-75, which envisages the construction of six Scorpene class submarines at the state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai under technical collaboration with the Naval Group (earlier known as DCNS) of France.

The first of the Scorpene class submarines, INS Kalvari, was commissioned five years behind schedule in 2017. With INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and now INS Vela commissioned, the Navy is keen to commission the next two, INS Vagir, which is undergoing sea trials, and INS Vagsheer, which is under construction.

The Navy said in a statement: “INS Vela’s motto ‘Vigilant, Valiant, Victorious’ epitomises the submarine’s spirit in achieving the tasks at hand. The motto inspires the crew to the alert and prepared always to face and surmount all challenges the submarine faces and emerge triumphant every time.”

The new INS Vela carries forward the legacy of its namesake, the erstwhile INS Vela, a Soviet Union origin, Foxtrot Class Submarine which was decommissioned in 2009 after serving for 37 years.