The first ship of the four Project-15B state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyers, Visakhapatnam, being built at the Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL), was delivered to the Navy last Friday. Delayed by three years, the ships will be commissioned very soon.
“The 163-metre-long warship has a full load displacement of 7,400 tonnes and a maximum speed of 30 knots. The overall indigenous content of the project is approximately 75%,” the Navy said on Sunday.
The contract for the construction of the ships was signed in January, 2011 at a project cost of about ₹29,643.74 crore. The design of the ships has been developed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design and are a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers. The four ships are christened after major cities from all four corners of the country — Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and Surat, the Navy said.
The keel of Visakhapatnam was laid in October 2013 and the ship was launched in April 2015. 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 SAMs, indigenous torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers and 76-mm super rapid gun mount, the Navy said.
“The induction of the destroyer, despite the COVID challenges, is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of a large number of stake-holders and would enhance the maritime prowess in the Indian Ocean Region.”
Enhanced stealth features
The design of Project 15B 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. However, these ships feature enhanced stealth features over the earlier class through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make them difficult to detect and also feature significant advances in automation and networking.
These ships are propelled by four gas turbines in Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration and have maximum endurance of 4000 nm at economical speed of 14 knots, the Navy had said earlier.