INS Visakhapatnam, a P15B stealth guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 21 November at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.
The event marks the formal induction into the navy of the first of the four Visakhapatnam-class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organization, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
The ship measures 163 meters in length, 17 meters in breadth and a displacement of 7,400 tonnes. It is propelled by four gas turbines, in a combined gas configuration, capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots. The vessel has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced radar cross-section achieved through efficient shaping of hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks.
Furthermore, INS Visakhapatnam is packed with weapons and sensors such as surface to surface and surface to air missiles. The unit is fitted with a modern surveillance radar, which provides target data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship. The anti-submarine warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed Rocket Launchers and Torpedo Launchers and ASW helicopters. It will be used to fight under nuclear, biological and chemical warfare conditions, according to the Indian Navy.
A unique feature of this ship is the high level of indigenization incorporated in the production, accentuating our national objective. Some of the major indigenised equipment/ systems onboard INS Visakhapatnam include combat management system, rocket launcher, torpedo tube launcher, integrated platform management system, automated power management system, etc.
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, according to the navy’s officials.