Indian Navy: The strength of the Indian Navy is continuously increasing. The Indian Navy is counted among the most powerful navies in the world. Indian Navy is taking rapid steps towards becoming self-reliant. Indian Navy to become self-sufficient by 2047.
Navy plays an important role in keeping the country’s maritime border safe as well as in humanitarian aid operations in case of natural calamities. India is surrounded by sea from three sides. The total coastline of India is 7,516 km. In this context, the responsibility of the Indian Navy increases even more. It has to deal with challenges related to internal security and maritime trade.
Indigenous submarine ‘Vagir’ commissioned into Navy
Emphasis is also being laid on modernizing the Indian Navy. In this episode, on January 23, the indigenous submarine INS Vagir was included in the Indian Navy. This is the fifth submarine of the Kalvari class. With this, Indian Navy has achieved another milestone under Project 75 and Make in India initiative. INS was inducted into the Navy at a ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. It was inducted into the Navy in the presence of Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar. INS Vagir is the fourth submarine inducted into the Navy in the last two years.
Dominance will increase in the Indo-Pacific region
This submarine has joined the Navy at a time when incidents of border disputes with China have increased. Along with that, the threat of China in the Indian Pacific region is also increasing continuously. Amidst the increasing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean, Indian Navy has got such a great submarine. INS Vagir will form part of the submarine fleet of the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy.
Adept at dodging enemies
INS Vagir is a deadly submarine with state-of-the-art stealth technology equipped with modern weapons. This will greatly increase the combat and response capability of the Indian Navy. This submarine is equipped with some of the best sensors and weapons in the world. This includes ‘wire guided torpedoes’ and surface-to-surface missiles. The submarine has the capability to land Marine commandos for special missions. Its powerful diesel engine can charge the battery very quickly. This submarine is equipped with the state-of-the-art ‘Torpedo Decoy System’ for self-defense. The specialty of the submarine is that it can escape from the modern radar. It has long-range guided torpedoes and anti-warship missiles. This submarine has the capability to neutralize large enemy fleets.
Manufacturing under Make in India initiative
INS Vagir has been made ‘Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). It has been built in collaboration with M/s Naval Group of France. The meaning of ‘Vagir’ is ‘Sand Shark’, which reflects the sense of secrecy and fearlessness. It is because of these two qualities that the submarine has been named Vagir. ‘Courage, Valor and Dedication’ is the motto of this submarine. Submarine INS VAGIR will increase the capability of the Indian Navy to stop the enemy. This will help in the protection of the country’s maritime interests. These submarines will also be helpful in conducting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations to strike decisive blows in times of crisis.
Glimpse into the bright future of the Navy
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar himself has called it a big achievement. He believes that this gives a glimpse of the golden future of India’s shipbuilding industry. Along with this, it also shows the strength of the country’s defense ecosystem. INS Vagir has completed sea trials in 11 months. Of all the submarines that have been built in India so far, INS Vagir has the distinction of being ready in the shortest possible time. Its construction started on 12 November 2020 and its trial was completed on 20 December 2022.
6 submarines to be built under Project 75
INS Vagir is part of Project 75 under the Made in India initiative. Under Project 75, six Scorpene class submarines were targeted to be built in India. Before INS Vagir, four submarines have joined the Navy fleet under this project. These are INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela. Submarine Kalvari was commissioned on 14 December 2017 and Khanderi on 28 September 2019. Karanj was commissioned on 10 March 2021 and the fourth submarine Vela on 25 November 2021. The fifth submarine is Vagir and the sixth Scorpene submarine is Vagsheer. The construction of INS ‘Vagshir’, the last of the Kalvari submarines, is also almost complete. It is being prepared to start the first surface sea voyage in March-April. By this year, this submarine will also join the Navy’s fleet.
Navy to build rather than buy
Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign, the Indian Navy is rapidly moving towards becoming a Builder’s Navy from a Buyer’s Navy. INS Vagir is another successful step towards modernization of Indian Navy. This shows that the Indian Navy’s position in the role of a builder is also getting stronger.
Challenges in the Indian Ocean
The Indian Navy has developed its capabilities over time, but there are still many challenges that need to be addressed. The interest of the whole world in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea has increased, in that sense the challenges for the Indian Navy will also increase in the future. For the last 15 years, the Chinese Navy has been trying to dominate the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). China is building a port and military base in Djibouti. Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar himself has described China’s increasing interference in the Indian Ocean region as a big challenge. After China LAC, now it is becoming a big challenge for India even in the maritime border. For maritime security, there is no bigger country than India in the entire area of the Indian Ocean. In such a situation, the Indian Navy needs to make more modern submarines and sea ships.
The challenge of raising indigenous aircraft carriers
India currently has only two large aircraft carriers. One of these is INS Vikramaditya made in Russia, the other is INS Vikrant, which may take a few more months to become fully operational. India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant (IAC-1) was inducted into the Navy fleet in September 2022. The Indian Navy has been insisting on acquiring three aircraft carriers to deal with China’s growing power in the sea and its increasing dominance in the ocean. However, the situation is not clear yet regarding the third IAC for the Indian Navy.
Need to increase the number of submarines
China currently has about 80 submarines. At the same time, India has 17 submarines. Before December 2017, not a single new submarine had been inducted into the Indian Navy for more than a decade and a half. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the submarine INS Kalvari to the nation. The country’s first indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant has also increased the strength of the Navy but there is a need to work faster on this front. Scorpene class submarines are very important in order to curb China’s supremacy in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Navy needs to increase the number of such submarines, which have the ability to stay under water for a long time. The way India is insisting on making submarines in the country these days, it is expected that the number of submarines equipped with modern technologies will increase in the coming days.
Emphasis on increasing indigenous aircraft carrier
There is also a challenge in front of the Indian Navy to increase the indigenous aircraft carrier. Apart from this, there is also a big challenge to deal with frequent accidents in ships and submarines. Apart from the seven and a half thousand kilometers long coastal border, India also has thousands of kilometers long sea border and there is a need to continuously increase the strength of the Navy for its security.