MDL delivers 3rd Visakhapatnam-class destroyer to Indian Navy – Naval News

Naval News Staff 20 Oct 2023
Indian Navy press release
Yard 12706 (Imphal), the third Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyer, being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), was delivered to the Indian Navy on 20 October, 2023. The Project is a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers commissioned in the last decade. Imphal follows in the wake of her predecessors Indian Naval Ships Visakhapatnam and Mormugao commissioned in the past two years.
Designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai, this ship is a hallmark of indigenous shipbuilding and is amongst the most technologically advanced warships in the world. Being a guided missile destroyer with a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164 meters, Imphal is a potent and versatile platform equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. Powered by a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion set, comprising four gas turbines, she is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/h).
 The ship boasts of a high indigenous content of approximately 75% that includes Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (BEL, Bangalore), BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles (BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi), Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai), Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai) and 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (BHEL, Haridwar).
Imphal’s keel was laid on 19 May, 2017 and the ship was launched into water on 20 April, 2019. The ship had sailed out for her maiden sea trials on 28 April, 2023, and, ever since, has undergone a comprehensive schedule of trials in harbour and at sea, leading up to its Delivery within a record timeframe of only six months. The time taken to build Imphal and for her trials is the shortest for any indigenous destroyer.
The delivery of Imphal is an affirmation of the impetus being given by the Government of India and the Indian Navy towards ‘AatmaNirbharBharat’. The induction of the destroyer, is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of large number of stake holders and would enhance the maritime prowess of the country in the Indian Ocean Region.
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The Project 15B (P15B) / Visakhapatnam-class is the latest destroyer design currently under construction for the Indian Navy. These ships have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi. 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 30 knots.
According to the Indian Navy, the P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and maneuverability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. The design around the bridge area appears to be main design change compared to the preceding Kolkata-class. P15B ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multi-role helicopters.
The Visakhapatnam-class shares several sensor and weapon systems with its preceding design, the Kolkata-class (Project 15A) of destroyers: The IAI EL/M-2248 MF-STAR S-band AESA multi-function radar, Thales LW-08 D-band air search radar, BEL HUMSA-NG bow sonar are fitted on both classes. Like Project 15A, the Project 15B will be fitted with 32x Barak 8 surface to air missiles (launched from VLS cells) as well as 16 BrahMos anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles.
While the Visakhapatnam-class was initially set to receive a 127mm main gun (by BAE Systems), the main gun is finally similar to that of the Kolkata-class: 76mm by Leonardo.
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