INS Vagir (S25): general characteristics and historic operations

Officially launched on November 12, 2020, the submarine honours its predecessor, INS Vagir (S41), which was named after a unique type of sandfish and tirelessly served the Navy from 1973 until 2001.

The fifth of the first six Kalvari-class submarines to be commissioned for the Indian Navy is called INS Vagir (S25). Inspired by the Scorpène class, this diesel-electric assault submarine is the result of joint efforts between the Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai, Maharashtra, and the French naval defence and energy business Naval business.

Officially launched on November 12, 2020, the submarine honours its predecessor, INS Vagir (S41), which was named after a unique type of sandfish and tirelessly served the Navy from 1973 until 2001.

On February 2, 2022, INS Vagir, a ship of the Kalvari class, commenced its first sea trials, an important step in the ship’s testing and validation procedure. The purpose of these trials is to verify the operational readiness and performance capabilities of the submarine under actual maritime situations. The thorough testing phase adds to the evaluation of the vessel’s overall performance, security measures, and compliance with naval requirements.

When INS Vagir was formally commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 23, 2023, it was a historic milestone. As a result, the submarine has become formerly a part of the navy force and is now prepared for operations and active service. 

General Characteristics:

With a displacement of 1,615 tonnes when surfaced and 1,775 tonnes when submerged, INS Vagir (S25) is a submarine of the Kalvari class. With a draft of 5.8 metres, the submarine has dimensions of 67.5 metres in length, 6.2 metres in beam, and 12.3 metres in height. INS Vagir can reach a top speed of 11 knots and a bottom speed of 20 knots thanks to its four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines and 360 battery cells.

The submarine’s range is 6,500 nautical miles at 8 knots when it is surfaced and 550 nautical miles at 4 knots when it is submerged. Its remarkable 50-day endurance underlines its operational capacity. INS Vagir guarantees adaptability and efficacy in a variety of marine situations with a test depth of 350 metres.

The composition of the crew, which comprises 35 sailors and 8 officers, reflects the teamwork needed for effective submarine operations. The integrated decoy and electronic warfare system comprises the C303/S anti-torpedo countermeasure system.

Six 533 mm torpedo tubes, which can hold eighteen SUT torpedoes or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, are among INS Vagir’s armament set. Its strategic adaptability is increased by the submarine’s ability to carry thirty mines instead of torpedoes. To further improve the submarine’s capabilities and prolong its operational lifespan, the DRDO PAFC Fuel Cell AIP is scheduled to be fitted during a midlife refit as part of future modifications

Operational History:

During an extended patrol, the INS Vagir made a historic arrival at the port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, on June 19, 2023. By strategically placing the submarine in the Indian Ocean, this visit not only improved diplomatic relations but also demonstrated the strength and reach of the Indian Navy.

The INS Vagir made a remarkable voyage across the vast Indian Ocean during its operational deployment, covering approximately 7000 kilometres. This lengthy voyage demonstrated the Scorpene-class submarine’s endurance and long-range capabilities, which is a credit to the modern engineering and technology built into its construction.

The extended patrol came to an end on August 20, 2023, when the INS Vagir arrived at the port of Fremantle, Australia. Since this was the first Indian Scorpene submarine to go on such a long deployment, it was an impressive achievement that showed the Indian Navy’s dedication to securing its maritime dominance and protecting strategic interests.