On 25 November 2021, INS Vela, the fourth P75 Kalvari-class submarines, was commissioned within Indian Navy in presence of Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) Chairman & Managing Director, Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad (Retd.) and several other dignitaries. The event was also attended by Naval Group’s Executive Vice President for International Development, Mr Alain Guillou and the local teams. Launched on 6 May 2019, INS Vela successfully completed all major sea trials including weapon and sensor trials, despite Covid restrictions, and was delivered to the Indian Navy on 9 November 2021. She joins INS Kalvari, Khanderi and Karanj which were commissioned respectively in December 2017, September 2019 and March 2021.
INS Vela is built by Indian shipyard MDL based on the Naval Group Scorpene® design and is the second Kalvari-class submarine to be commissioned in 2021. The commissioning of INS Vela highlights the success of indigenous submarines construction program of the Government of India. This submarine has been completely built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) taking advantage of the successful technology transfer from Naval Group during the construction and trials of the first three boats. Six submarines of the P75 program have been fitted with a number of equipment, built in India by qualified and highly trained industrial Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which form the sound base of submarine building ecosystem of India.
The Scorpène-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines jointly developed by the French Naval Group (formerly the Direction des Constructions Navales) and the Spanish company Navantia. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP). The Scorpene® is a 2000 tons conventional-propulsion submarine designed and developed by Naval Group for all types of mission, such as surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. Extremely stealthy and fast, it has a level of operating automation that allows a limited number of crew, which reduces its operating costs significantly. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes, 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles, mines).
The rise in competencies that Indian industry and shipyard achieved during the past decade is very inspiring. This precious and high-value expertise and skillsets built around the program needs to be preserved, nurtured and improved with on-going and future contracts so that Indian naval defence industry can seamlessly cater to military products of similar or advanced nature for India and also for the world. With 14 submarines chosen around the world, the Scorpene® is an essential reference of conventional attack submarines (SSK) for Navies across the globe. The product is easily adapted to specific requirements of any naval customers. The progressive improvement by Naval Group dedicated and experienced designers ensures the eamless integration of advances and modern technology.