Visakhapatnam, a P15B stealth guided missile destroyer named after the port city of Andhra Pradesh on the East coast, is scheduled to be commissioned into the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on November 21. 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 organisation Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai, a statement from Eastern Naval Command said.
The ship measures 163 metres in length, 17 metres in breadth, with a displacement of 7400 tonnes, and is regarded as one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India. The ship is propelled by four powerful gas turbines, in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) configuration, capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots. The ship has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) achieved through efficient shaping of the hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts, and use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks, the statement added.
Visakhapatnam is packed with sophisticated ‘state of the art’ weapons and sensors such as Surface to Surface Missile and Surface to Air Missiles. The ship is fitted with a modern Surveillance Radar which provides target data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship. The ship’s Anti-Submarine Warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed Rocket Launchers, Torpedo Launchers and ASW helicopters. The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions.
Some of the major indigenised equipment and systems onboard Visakhapatnam include Indigenous Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles, Surface to Surface Missiles, Torpedo Tubes and Launchers, Anti-Submarine Rocket Launchers, Super Rapid Gun Mount besides, Combat Management System, Integrated Platform Management System, Automated Power Management System, Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing system, Close-in Weapon System and Bow mounted SONAR. With the changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region, Visakhapatnam will augment the Indian Navy’s mobility, reach and flexibility towards accomplishment of its role and tasks.
Commissioning of Vela, the fourth submarine of Project-75 is also scheduled for commission on November 25. 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 MDL and construction is based on the French Scorpene class design. M/s Naval Group, the French collaborator for this project. The submarine has been slotted to join the Submarine fleet of the Western Naval Command. The launch of the first ship of the Survey Vessel Large project, Sandhayak is in December. ‘Sandhyak’ is the first of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata for the Indian Navy. These large Survey ships are equipped with new generation hydrographic equipment for collecting oceanographic and geophysical data in the Indian Ocean Region.