New Delhi, Y 12704 (Visakhapatnam), the lead ship of Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyers being built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), was delivered to the Indian Navy on October 28, a Ministry of Defence press statement said on October 31.
The contract for four ships of Project 15B, known as Visakhapatnam class ships, was signed on January 28, 2011. This project is a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers commissioned in the last decade.
Designed by Directorate of Naval Design (DND), Indian Navy’s in-house design organisation; and built by M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai; the four ships are christened after major cities from all four corners of the country viz. Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and Surat.
The keel of Visakhapatnam was laid in October 2013 and the ship was launched in April 2015. The design has largely maintained the hull form, propulsion machinery, many platform equipment and major weapons and sensors as the Kolkata class to benefit from series production.
The 163 metres long warship has a full load displacement of 7,400 tonnes and maximum speed of 30 knots. The overall indigenous content of the project is approximately 75 per cent. Apart from myriad indigenous equipment in the ‘Float’ and ‘Move’ categories, the destroyer is also installed with major indigenous weapons which include:-
- 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).
- 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (BHEL, Haridwar).
The delivery of Visakhapatnam is an affirmation of the impetus being given by the Government and the Indian Navy towards ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ as part of 75 years of India’s Independence. The induction of the destroyer, despite the COVID challenges, is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of large number of stakeholders and would enhance the maritime prowess of the country in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).