INS Vagsheer (S26): general characteristics that make it a formidable force in the Indian Navy

Leading-edge stealth technology and a flexible armament system characterise the sixth Kalvari-class submarine commissioned for the Indian Navy, INS Vagsheer (S26). Reaching speeds of 20 knots, it can function underwater for 50 days.

INS Vagsheer (S26) is the sixth submarine of the first six Kalvari-class submarines to be commissioned for the Indian Navy. Built by Mumbai-based Mazagon Dock Limited, this diesel-electric assault submarine is modelled after the Scorpène class, which the French naval defence and energy company Naval Group jointly designed. This submarine, which was launched on April 20, 2022, is the pinnacle of modern naval capability.

The INS Vagsheer is equipped with a variety of innovative characteristics that enable it to perform area surveillance, avoid enemy radar, and acquire intelligence. Modern acoustic dampening techniques enable it to keep a hydrodynamically optimised shape and low levels of emitted noise. With its stealth technology, the submarine can strike enemies with precision, whether submerged or above the surface, by simultaneously deploying 18 torpedoes and tube-launched anti-ship missiles.

The remarkable 221 feet of length and 40 feet of height make up the Kalvari-class submarine. It combines strategic ability and agility with a surface speed of 20 kmph and a submerged speed of 37 kmph. The submarine can operate underwater for up to 50 days and can descend to depths of 350 metres for prolonged periods. Its diesel-electric propulsion system is powered by 360 battery cells, which guarantee durability and operational efficiency.

INS Vagsheer honours naval history by taking on the name of its predecessor, the INS Vagsheer (S43), a Vela-class submarine that was in service with the Indian Navy from 1974 to 1997. The term “Vagsheer” itself designates a particular species of sandfish that is native to the Indian Ocean. 

General Characteristics:

The Kalvari-class submarine INS Vagsheer (S26) has a displacement of 1,615 tonnes when it is above water and 1,775 tonnes when it is below. It has a strong physical profile, measuring 67.5 metres in length, 6.2 metres in beam, 12.3 metres in height, and 5.8 metres in draught. The submarine’s 360 battery cells and four MTU 12V 396 SE84 diesel engines provide power, and during a mid-life upgrade, DRDO PAFC Fuel Cell AIP is intended to be added. 

When submerged, INS Vagsheer performs admirably, reaching a speed of 20 knots, compared to 11 knots when surfaced. When surfaced, its operational range is 6,500 nautical miles at 8 mph, and when submerged, it is 550 nautical miles at 4 knots. The submarine can reach a test depth of 350 metres and withstand operations that last up to 50 days.

The ship can hold 35 sailors and 8 officers on crew. The C303/S anti-torpedo countermeasure system, which improves its defensive capabilities, is one of its electronic warfare capabilities. INS Vagsheer is armed with six 533 mm torpedo tubes that can carry eighteen SUT torpedoes or SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles. To demonstrate its adaptability in a variety of nautical duties, it may also be set up to carry thirty mines instead of torpedoes. As one of the fleets of Kalvari-class submarines, INS Vagsheer is an all-around strong asset with innovative capabilities.