In November 2021, the Indian Navy commissioned INS Vela, the 4th submarine of Kalvari class. This submarine is named after a decommissioned submarine Vela, which served the Indian Navy from 1973 to 2010.
The earlier Vela submarine belonged to Foxtrot class submarine of Soviet origin. INS Vela is the fourth of the six submarines the Indian Navy is to induct under the Kalvari-class submarine Project-75. Three of these submarines – Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj have already been commissioned in the Indian Navy.
INS Vela is equipped with C303 anti-torpedo countermeasure system. This submarine can carry up to 18 anti-ship torpedoes or French-origin SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.
INS Vela was constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL) in collaboration with France’s Naval Group. This submarine is fitted with advanced weapons and sensors which are all integrated into the Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System or SUBTICS.
As per Naval Group,
“Scorpene is a 2000 tonne 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. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes, 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles, mines)”
It can also launch anti-ship and anti-submarine torpedoes, as well as anti-surface missiles with automated handling and loading of weapons.
Umair Aslam is a Founding Editor at Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defence journalist reporting on military modernization programs, nuclear non-proliferation, arms control and the South Asian Arms race. He has been extensively quoted in international publications such as the ‘EurAsian Times’.