INS Visakhapatnam commissioned into Indian Navy in the presence of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai
- INS Visakhapatnam, a P15B stealth guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on November 21, 2021.
- Named after the historic city of Andhra Pradesh on the east coast, Visakhapatnam, the ‘City of Destiny’,
- The event marks the formal induction of the first of the four ‘Visakhapatnam’ class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
- INS Visakhapatnam measures 163m in length, 17m in breadth with a displacement of 7,400 tonnes and can rightfully be regarded as one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India.
- The ship is propelled by four powerful Gas Turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration, capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots.
- The ship has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) achieved through efficient shaping of hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks.
- The ship is packed with sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors such as Surface-to-Surface missile and Surface-to-Air missiles. It is fitted with a modern surveillance radar which provides target data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship. The anti-submarine warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed rocket launchers, torpedo launchers and ASW helicopters. The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions.
- A unique feature of this ship is the high level of indigenisation incorporated in the production, accentuating the national objective of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Some of the major indigenised equipment/system onboard INS Visakhapatnam include Combat Management System, Rocket Launcher, Torpedo Tube Launcher, Integrated Platform Management System, Automated Power Management System, Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing system, Close-in Weapon System and the Bow mounted SONAR.
Project 15 B:
- Project 15B ships feature cutting edge advanced technology and are comparable to the best ships of similar class anywhere in the World
- These ships have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design
- Each ship spans 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam and displaces 7,300 tonnes. These ships will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30knotes
- The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. P15B ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters.
- These ships are packed with an array of state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including multi-functional surveillance radars and vertically launched missile system for long distance engagement of shore, sea-based and air targets.
- With significant indigenous content, these ships are a true hallmark of self-reliance attained by our country in warship design and shipbuilding, and a shining example of the ‘Make in India’ Philosphy
Features of the P-15B Ships:
- These ships are equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and long-range Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM).
- The ship has several indigenous weapons systems like medium range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAMs), indigenous torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers and 76-mm super rapid gun mount.
Other Three Ships of Project 15B:
- The second ship of P15B, Mormugao was launched in 2016, and is being readied for harbour trials.
- The third ship (Imphal) was launched in 2019, and is at an advanced stage of outfitting.
- The fourth ship (Surat) is under block erection and will be launched within this current financial year (2022) .
Role of P-15B:
- The Indian Navy’s responsibilities to safeguard a large coastline of 7516 Kms and about 1100 offshore islands along with 2.01 million sq km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have been enhanced in the present geopolitical scenario.
- Destroyers like the P-15B class shall play an important role in the larger oceans of the Indo-Pacific, making the Indian Navy a potent force.
- The guided missile Destroyers are deployed for various responsibilities like escort duties with the Carrier Battle Group to protect the Naval fleet against any air, surface and underwater threats.
India’s Destroyer Construction Programme:
- India’s indigenous Destroyer construction programme commenced in the late 1990s with the three Delhi class (P-15 class) warships and this was followed by three Kolkata class (P-15A) destroyers commissioned a decade later.
- Presently, under the P-15B (Visakhapatnam Class), a total of four warships are planned (Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, Surat).
- The Destroyers come next only to an Aircraft Carrier (INS Vikramaditya) in terms of their reach and endurance.
Other Recent Projects:
- Project 75 (I): It envisages indigenous construction of submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system at an estimated cost of Rs. 43,000 crore.
- Project 75: It is a programme by the Indian Navy that entails building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines. The programme has been undertaken with transfer of technology from French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).