In order to boost the country’s capacity for countering threads both above water and on the surface INS Visakhapatnam was inducted by the Indian Navy today.
In the presence of India’s Defence Minister the warship INS Visakhapatnam which is India’s first stealth guided missile Destroyer ship of project 15B was commissioned into the Indian Navy.
The Indian navy’s in-house organisation, the Directorate of Naval design has indigenously designed the Visakhapatnam class destroyers while it has been constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in Mumbai and the Navy is set to induct the first of the four Visakhapatnam class destroyers today.
Installed with sophisticated state of the art weapons the Visakhapatnam class destroyers stands among the Indian navy’s most powerful and largest warships that have been constructed in India while the indigenous Steel DMR249 A is being used in the construction of these destroyers. With the capability of undertaking multifarious tasks and missions spanning the full spectrum of maritime Warfare, the ship stands as a potent platform while a significant indigenous content of approximately 75% has been equipped by the ship.
Armed and ready
Including medium and short-range guns, advanced electronic Warfare, anti-submarine Rockets, Communications suits, supersonic surface to surface and surface to air missiles, the above-cited ship is equipped with an array of weapons and sensors.
Enabling the ship to achieve a speed of over 30 knots INS Visakhapatnam is propelled by a powerful combined gas and gas propulsion while two integrated helicopters can be embarked by the ship for further extending its reach.
Including the Combat Management System and Integrated Platform Management System, a very high level of automation and sophisticated digital networks are boasted by the ship.
All in the arsenal
Talking about some of the major indigenous equipment systems that have been equipped by INS Visakhapatnam includes torpedo tubes and launchers, surface to surface missile and medium-range surface to air missiles.
Close-in weapon system and bow-mounted SONAR, super Rapid gun Mount besides Helo traversing system and foldable hangar doors, the ship is also armed with anti-submarine rocket launchers.
Indian Navy flexibility, mobility and reach towards the accomplishment of its whole and tasks shall be augmented by the Visakhapatnam-class destroyer.
Growing concerns over China
Apart from the above, being at the centre of geopolitics, India’s Maritime strategy is in focus with the Indo-pacific. Making the role of the Navy critical, the country’s geographic location makes it a key player in the Indian Ocean.
As China on the other hand has increased its presence in the Indian Ocean since 2008, they have been closely observed by India while the Indian subcontinent is buzzing with activity and the Indian Navy closely watches as the events unfold.
Over China’s growing assertion in the Indian Ocean, from Japan and Australia to the United States a growing concern for the same runs.
As new missiles, submarines and ships have been built by China, its naval power has grown significantly but its investment in big-ticket maritime infrastructure, especially deepwater ports is a subject of greater concern.
The capability to launch guided anti-aircraft missiles from the deck is equipped by a guided-missile destroyer.
All about the project
With the ships being indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, the Project 15B (P15B) / Visakhapatnam-class is the latest destroyer design currently under construction for the Indian Navy. While displacing 7,300 tonnes, each ship spans 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam and shall be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots.
For improved sea keeping, stealth, survivability and manoeuvrability, new design concepts are incorporated by the P15B destroyers. Through the use of radar transparent deck fittings and shaping of the hull, enhanced stealth features have been achieved thereby making these ships difficult to detect. Compared to the preceding Kolkata class, The design around the bridge area appears to be the main design change. Two multi-role helicopters shall be carried and operated by these ships.
Of the total order of four vessels for the Indian Navy, Visakhapatnam is the first of them. Back in 2013, the first-in-class ship was laid down while it was launched in April 2015 and was followed by the future INS Mormugao. In 2019, the third destroyer, Imphal, was launched and Porbandar, which shall be the fourth and final vessel of the class is expected to be launched the next year. Visakhapatnam shall be commissioned in December 2021.