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Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Thursday said INS Vela, the fourth Scorpene-class submarine, will play a crucial role in enhancing the Indian Navy's ability to protect the nation's maritime interests.

Amid mounting border tensions and China delivering its largest and most advanced warship to Pakistan, the Navy chief said, “we are closely watching the defence cooperation between China and Pakistan. The recent procurements by Pakistan from China may change the dynamics, so we need to remain cautious."

INS Vela was commissioned into the Indian Navy, in the presence of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, at the naval dockyard in Mumbai today.

"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 Navy's ability to protect India's maritime interests," Singh said.

The Navy chief also said that the P-75 project represents the growing strategic congruence between India and France.

"Today's commissioning marks another high point in this enduring partnership. We crossed halfway mark of Project 75," he said.

Earlier this month, China delivered its largest and most advanced warship to Pakistan as it seeks to beef up the navy of its all-weather ally in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, where it has increased its own naval presence in recent years.

(With inputs from agencies)



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