Mumbai, May 6 (IANS) The fourth of the Indian Navy’s Stealth Scorpene class submarines under Project 75 was launched at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of the Mazagaon Docks Ltd (MDL) here on Monday, an official said.
Like the previous Scorpene class submarines – Kalvary, Khanderi and Karanj – the new submarine ‘Vela’ has been built by the MDL in collaboration with the Naval Group of France.
Defence Secretary (Production) Ajay Kumar was the chief guest at the launch event and his wife Veena Kumar performed the launch ceremony in the presence of Vice-Admiral A.K. Saxena.
Earlier, the submarine was towed to the Mumbai Port Trust for separation from the pontoon and will now undergo rigorous trials and tests, both in harbour and in high seas before being inducted into the Indian Navy.
The deal for construction and transfer of technology for six Scorpene class submarines in this series has Naval Group as the collaborator, with MDL constructing them under the ‘Make In India’ initiative in the defence sector.
Currently, eight warships and five submarines are under various stages of construction at MDL, said the company Chairman and Managing Director Rakesh Anand.
‘Vela’, for which steel cutting commenced in July 2009, will be powered using indigenously-developed batteries by Exide India and will now commence extensive sea trials.
It is expected to be commissioned into the Indian Navy in around two years after the sea trials and would represent the fourth attack submarine from Project 75 joining the Navy’s submarine fleet.
Official sources here said ‘Vela’ will be followed soon by two more submarines in the same class – ‘Vagir’ and ‘Vagsheer’ – which are currently under construction.
The Scorpene class submarines can undertake multifarious tasks typically undertaken by any modern submarine, including anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.
Each of these lethal underwater attackers are 67.50 metres long, 12.30 metres in height, have a 6.20-metre beam, and able to attain submerged speeds of around 37 kmph (20 knots) and 20 kmph on surface (11 knots).
They can carry a crew complement of 35 sailors plus eight officers and remain at sea for up to 50 days.