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INS Vela, the fourth of six underwater warships being built in India with French collaboration, was launched at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai in May this year with an aim to boost Indian capability to defend and secure the strategic sea lanes.

Mumbai:

In a major fillip to maritime power, the Indian Navy commissioned INS Vela, the fourth Scorpene-class submarine, in Mumbai on Thursday.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of INS Vela, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh said – “INS Vela has the ability to undertake an entire spectrum of submarine operations. Given today’s dynamic and complex security situation, its capability and firepower will play a crucial role in enhancing the Navy’s ability to protect India’s maritime interests.”

Singh said that Project 75, under which the Scorpene-class submarines are being built in India, represents the growing strategic congruence between India and France and added that the commissioning of Vela marks the halfway mark of Project 75, which will see a total of six Scorpene-class submarines inducted into the Indian Navy.

The addition of INS Vela to the defence fleet gives a major boost to India’s capabilities in dealing with possible maritime security threats in the face of China’s growing assertiveness and presence in the Indian Ocean region.

“It is a proud moment for all of us. It has an indigenous set of batteries and has an advanced communication suite of indigenous make so it has taken the concept of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ further,” Captain Anish Mathew, Commanding Officer of INS Vela had earlier told ANI.

INS Vela, the fourth of six underwater warships being built in India with French collaboration, was launched at Mazagon Dockyard in Mumbai in May this year with an aim to boost Indian capability to defend and secure the strategic sea lanes.

The state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited has entered into a contract for construction and transfer of technology for six Scorpene-class subs with French collaborator Ms Naval Group (formerly DCNS). INS Vela is the fourth in that series.

Before Vela, MDL launched Kalvari, Khanderi, Karanj submarines.

INS Vela was first commissioned on August 31, 1973, in the Indian Naval Service and continued to serve for 37 years. It was the country’s oldest submarine when it was decommissioned on June 25, 2010, MDL said in a statement.

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