A look at Kalvari class of submarines and its strategic significance

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The Kalvari-class submarines have capability of operating in a wide range of Naval combat including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying.

  • Indian Navy’s fifth Kalvari-class Diesel Electric attack submarine INS Vagir was launched at Mazgaon Dock in Mumbai. 
  • A look at this modern and stealthy class of submarines having been built under Project 75 and whose design is based on the Scorpene class of the submarines.

Kalvari-class

  • Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vagir, is the fifth among the six Kalvari-class submarines being constructed by the public sector shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai.
  • The design of Kalvari class of submarines is based on Scorpene class of submarines designed and developed by French defence major Naval Group formerly DCNS and Spanish state owned entity Navantia. 
  • This class of submarines have Diesel Electric transmission systems and these are primarily attack submarines or ‘hunter-killer’ type which means they are designed to target and sink adversary naval vessels.
  • The Kalvari-class submarines have capability of operating in a wide range of Naval combat including anti-warship and anti-submarine operations, intelligence gathering and surveillance and naval mine laying. 
  • These submarines are around 220 feet long and have a height of 40 feet. It can reach the highest speeds of 11 knots when surfaced and 20 knots when submerged.
  • The other vessels in the class are INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela and INS Vagsheer. 
  • Of these Kalvari and Khanderi have been commissioned in 2017 and 2019, Vela and Karanj and undergoing sea trials, Vagir has now been launched and Vagsheer is under construction. 
  • The submarines in the current Kalvari-class take their names from erstwhile decommissioned classes of submarines named Kalvari which included Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj and Vela class — which included Vela, Vagir, Vagshir. 
  • The now-decommissioned Kalvari and Vela classes were one of the earliest of the submarines in post independence Indian Navy, which belonged to Soviet origin Foxtrot class of vessels.
  • Launch of a vessel is the process of transferring the ship from dockyard to water and is different from the commissioning of the ship, when it actually enters the active service.

In maritime parlance a class of ships is a group of vessels which have the same make, purpose and displacement. In the Navy and Coast Guard in India, the ships belonging to a particular class are named in a specific manner. Many times the names have the same first letters, prefixes, similar meanings or the names belong to a particular type of words for example names of cities, persons, mythological concepts, animals, rivers, mountains, weapons, etc. The class is generally named after the first vessel in the category. In some cases, a particular class of vessels take their names from an earlier class of vessels which are now decommissioned.

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