Indian Navy’s fourth stealth Scorpene class Submarine Vela of Project 75 was launched at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) here. Post the launch, the submarine is set to commence sea trials. The submarines are being built at Mazagon Dock Limited, with the main collaborator being M/s Naval group, France. The Scorpene is a 2000-tons conventional-propulsion submarine designed and developed for all types of mission, such as surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. Extremely stealthy and fast, it has a level of operating automation that allows a limited number of crew members, which reduces its operating costs significantly. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes, 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles, mines). The Scorpene submarines can undertake multifarious types of missions i.e anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence gathering, mine laying, area surveillance etc. The submarine is designed to operate in all theatres, with means provided to ensure interoperability with other components of a Naval Task Force. It is a potent platform, marking a generational shift in submarine operations. Secretary (Defence Production) Ajay Kumar was the chief guest for the launch ceremony and Veena Ajay Kumar was the lady dignitary who performed the ceremony. “The submarine has been named ‘Vela’ after an earlier submarine, which was the lead submarine, of the erstwhile Vela class, the second batch of the Foxtrot class submarines acquired from USSR,” according to a statement. The steel cutting for this submarine commenced in July 2009. The submarine has completed joining of all its sections. This submarine would be using Indigenous developed batteries by M/s Exide, India. “The launch ceremony also signifies that four submarines of this project would be afloat and soon joining the Indian Navy’s submarine fleet,” the statement added. The INS Vela is the fourth of the six submarines of Scorpene class that has completed its out fittings at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) Mumbai. Vagir and Vagsheer are the remaining two submarines in the country’s Scorpene Submarine programme are in the advanced stages of manufacturing at MDL. A contract was signed in 2005, between French DCNS, and Mazgaon Dock Limited under Indian Navy’s Project-75 for the supply of six submarines. The first submarine INS Kalvari was commissioned in December last year while two other submarines–INS Khanderi and INS Karanj–are in the advanced stages to join the Navy fleet.