Indian Navy to pack a punch: Visakhapatnam class destroyer, submarine Vela to join ranks
The two commissions will further enhance the Indian Navy's power in the Indian Ocean Region
Image: Visakhapatnam class destroyer (left), Scorpene submarine Vela (right)
Adding significant capability to its maritime power, the Indian Navy will commission the first ship of Project 15B Class Destroyer on November 21 and the fourth Scorpene Submarine of Project P-75 on November 25. The two commissions will further enhance the Indian Navy's power in the Indian Ocean Region especially considering that the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy is seeking to strengthen its presence in the region.
Image: Project 15B Class Destroyer
Project 15B Class Destroyer
The contract for four ships of the Visakhapatnam class was inked in January 2011. Project 15B is a follow-on project of the Kolkata class destroyers that were commissioned in the last decade. The Visakhapatnam class of warships was designed by the Indian Navy's in-house design organisation Directorate of Naval Design and costructed by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
The Visakhapatnam class warships, which can accommodate a crew of 312 persons, have been named after major cities -- Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and Surat. In October 2013, the keel of the first warship, Visakhapatnam was laid and the ship was launched in April 2015. According to naval officials, the design draws heavily from the platform equipment, hull form, weapons systems and sensors and propulsion machinery of the Kolkata class warships.
Visakhapatnam, which has an endurance of 4000 nautical miles and can be on a 42-day missions, is equipped with supersonic surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles and the Barak-8 long-range surface-to-air missiles. Two onboard helicopters will extend the ship's reach. It will also have incredible undersea warfare capability and will be armed with indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons, heavyweight torpedo launchers, hull-mounted sonar Humsa NG and rocket launchers.
The second ship of P15B series, Mormugao is undergoing preparations for harbour trials. The third ship, Imphal is at an advance stage of outfitting while the fourth ship will be launched within this year.
Image: Scorpene Submarine Vela
Scorpene Submarine Vela
Vela, the fourth Scorpene submarine manufactured by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited was delivered to the Indian Navy on November 9. The MDL said that Vela's delivery further reinforces India's stature as a submarine-building nation. Earlier, three Scorpene submarines -- Kalvari, Khanderi and Karanj -- were inducted into the Indian Navy.
Vagir, the fifth submarine of the series, has commenced harbour trials. Vagir will head out for the maiden surface test next month. The sixth submarine, according to naval officials, is in the advanced stage of outfitting.
The induction of the submarines provides an impetus to the Navy's attempts to check the fast-depleting underwater combat capability. The Navy currently operates 12 diesel-electric submarines. It has also been using the nuclear submarine INS Arihant since 2018. As per the reports, the Indian Navy will commission the second nuclear submarine, INS Arighat next year.