Indian Navy presses ahead with fleet expansion, plans to commission 2 new vessels
The Indian Navy has proceeded with its fleet expansion by revealing its plans to commission two naval vessels by the end of the month.
As informed, the vessels in question are the first Project 15B guided-missile destroyer Visakhapatnam and the fourth submarine of Project-75, Kalvari-class submarine INS Vela. The officials also noted that these ceremonies would be followed by the launch of the first ship of survey vessel large (SVL) project Sandhayak in early December.
Visakhapatnam has been constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is amongst the largest destroyers constructed in India with an overall length of 163 meters and displacement of over 7400 tons. The ship has a significant indigenous content of approx. 75% contributing towards AtmaNirbhar Bharat.
Furthermore, the unit is a potent platform capable of undertaking various tasks and missions spanning the full spectrum of maritime warfare. Visakhapatnam is equipped with an array of weapons and sensors, which include supersonic surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, medium and short-range guns, anti-submarine rockets and advanced electronic warfare and communication suits. The ship has the capability of embarking two integrated helicopters to further extend its reach and can travel at speed of 30 knots.
What is more, the vessel features a very high level of automation with sophisticated digital networks, a combat management system and an integrated platform management system.
Six submarines are being constructed under Project-75. With the commissioning of Vela, the project would have crossed the halfway mark. These submarines are being constructed at M/s MDL and construction is based on the French Scorpene-class design. The submarine has been slotted to join the submarine fleet of the Western Naval Command. Vela has completed most of its trials and it is combat-worthy and ready to take on operational tasking, according to the navy.
Sandhyak is the first of the four survey vessels (large) being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE for the Indian Navy. The contract for building four SVL ships was signed between MoD and GRSE in 2018.
These large survey ships, envisaged to replace the existing Sandhayak-class survey ships, are equipped with new generation hydrographic equipment including AUVs, ROVs, 11-meter survey boats and advanced indigenous data acquisition systems to collect and analyze for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data in the Indian Ocean Region.
Currently, the Indian Navy has “39 naval ships and submarines which are being constructed at various shipyards. This in turn has created enormous opportunities for not only the indigenous shipbuilding industry but also the associated support industries,” Vice Admiral Ajit Kumar P stated.