India’s first ship, INS Visakhapatnam, which is one of the four stealth guided-missile destroyers under the project- 15B, has been delivered by the Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL) to the Indian Navy. And, in project-15B, 4 ships are included, Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, and Porbandar. These 4 ships which come under project-15B are all built by the Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL).
According to some reports, it is known that the Visakhapatnam ship can accommodate a crew of 312 persons. The Visakhapatnam ship also has an endurance of 4,000 nautical miles. The ship can carry out a typical mission for 42 days, along with extended time for missions in out-of-area operations. The ship is also equipped with 2 helicopters on board to extend its reach further, and the ship is propelled by a powerful combination of gas and gas (COGAG) propulsion plant, which consist of 4 reversible gas turbines, which will help it to achieve a speed of over 30 knots (55km/hr approx.)
The Indian Navy took to Twitter to share about the launch of the Visakhapatnam ship. They tweeted, “Visakhapatnam – first of the indigenous P15B stealth guided-missile destroyers being built at Mazagon Dock, Mumbai delivered to Indian Navy on October 28, 2021. Induction of the destroyer will not only enhance the combat readiness of the Indian Navy but will also be a major leap forward towards our quest for Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India).”
In October 2013, the keel of Visakhapatnam was laid, and then in 2015, it was launched. In September 2016, the second ship, Mormugao, was launched. Currently, the Mormugao ship is in sea trials. As per some reports, it is known that the second ship is expected to be commissioned next year. Now, the third ship, which is named Imphal, was launched on 20th April, in the year 2019. Currently, the Imphal ship is at an advanced stage of outfitting. Lastly, the fourth ship is expected to be launched within the current financial year as it is currently under the block erection.
In the press release which was mentioned by Mazgaon Dock Limited, various things related to the ships of the project- 15B were mentioned. It mentioned, “The indigenous content in Project-15B class destroyers is 72% which is a notch above their predecessors’ project —15A (59%) the Kolkata class destroyers comprises a ship – Kolkata, Kochi, and Chennai, all of which were built by MDL and commissioned in the last decade. The ship is constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is amongst the largest destroyers constructed in India, with an overall length of 164 meters and a displacement of over 7,500 tons.”
Well, it has to be noted that the ship indeed can undertake a wide variety of tasks and missions. The ship is armed with supersonic surface-to-surface ‘Brahmos’ missiles. And in addition to this, it is also armed with ‘Barak-8’ long-range surface-to-air missiles. Now, about the undersea warfare capability, the destroyer is fitted with indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons and sensors. The destroyer is also fitted with the Hull mounted Sonar Humsa NG, heavyweight torpedo tube launchers, and rocket launchers.
Significantly, as this ship is more versatile than the previous destroyers and frigates in the Naval inventory, the ship’s all-round capability against enemy submarines, surface warships, anti-ship missiles, and fighter aircraft gives it the enabling to get operated without a bevy of supporting vessels and also it can function as the flagship of a Naval task force.
According to the press release, it mentioned that the acceptance document was signed by vice admiral Narayan Prasad retired from the Navy, and the current chairman and managing director, MDL, and rear admiral KP Arvindan at MDL in the presence of a commanding officer (designate), MDL directors and Navy personnel.