India launches second Visakhapatnam-class destroyer INS Mormugao

Indian shipbuilding company MDL has launched the nation’s second indigenously built Visakhapatnam-class destroyer INS Mormugao.

Weighing 2844 tonnes at launch, the destroyer entered water for the first time during a September 17 ceremony in Mumbai.

Also called Project 15B, the ships are an improved version of the Indian Navy’s Kolkata-class destroyers (Project 15A). The third and last Kolkata-class destroyer INS Chennai is scheduled to join the navy by the end of 2016.

Project 15B ships incorporate improved stealth characteristics including enhanced weaponry and sensors along with the long range Barak 8 surface-to-air missile.

Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. New design concepts also helped improve survivability, sea keeping and ship manoeuvrability.

With a complement of 50 officers and 250 sailors, each ship spans 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam and displaces 7300 tonnes. According to the Indian navy, they will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots. The destroyers will be equipped to carry and operate two multiple role helicopters.

Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai will build a total of four guided-missile destroyers under a contract signed in January 2011.