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Project 15B Visakhapatnam-class - Program

The first ship of Project—15B guided missile destroyer, christened Visakhapatnam, was launched on 20 April 2015 at a ceremony at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. The Visakhapatnam is the first of four destroyers of the class designed by the Directorate of Naval Design in New Delhi. As of late 2007 the Navy reportedly planned to order three more destroyers under Project-15B. As of December 2008 the Russian shipbuilding industry was in line for for the co-design and joint fabrication of five guided-missile destroyers under Project 15B (for which the 4,500 ton Project 22350 Gorshkov DDG was said to be offered). The follow-on Project 15B, with a reported displacement of 8,000 tons, could be delayed if more units are ordered under Project-15A. In November 2008 Vice Admiral Dilip Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition, said that while three destroyers (Project 15A) are under construction, "four more (Project 15B) are expected to be ordered shortly on MDL."

To bolster the Navy's combat capability, in February 2009 the government was reported to have approved building of four new power-packed destroyer warships. Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) would soon get the "follow-on orders" for building the new destroyers of the 'Kolkata' class. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) gave in-principle approval to the Navy's proposal for construction of four new Kolkata class destroyers. The construction of the sophisticated ships under "Project 15B" would begin soon after the MDL completes building of the first three destroyers of the Kolkata class under "Project 15A". These would be indigenous combat vessels built with advanced stealth features and would have land attack capabilities. In all, the Navy proposes to have seven Kolkata class destroyers.

By March 2009 the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) - the top procurement body in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) - had cleared Project 15-B, the construction of four 6800-ton destroyers by Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai (MDL). There was no competitive bidding for Project 15-B, since MDL is the only Indian shipyard large enough to build destroyers, which are significantly larger than frigates. Project 15-B, MDL hopes, will have fewer design challenges; it will differ from its predecessor only in weaponry and sensors. The navy wanted the first destroyer to roll out within four years, with the others completed at one-year intervals. By that ambitious timeline, if the order is placed on MDL by end-2009, the first 15-B destroyer would be commissioned in mid-2015.

Four Guided missile Destroyers of Project 15B (P 15B) were under construction at M/s Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. The contract for construction of these four ships was signed on 28 January 2011. These ships are among the most technologically advanced Guided Missile Destroyers of the world, with state-of-the-art weapon/sensor package, advanced stealth features and a high degree of automation. The design of P15B ships has been developed in house by the Directorate of Naval Design.

By mid-2013 the navy's design center had completed designs for Project 15B, the enhanced version of the three Kolkata class destroyers under construction at Mumbai's Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL).

The keel of Visakhapatnam was laid down on 12 October 2013 and she was launched on 20 April 2015 at a magnificent ceremony at Mazagaon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. The ship was launched from Slip Way No2 in MDL, Mumbai. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan, was the Chief Guest for the occasion. In keeping with the nautical traditions, the ship was launched by Mrs Minu Dhowan, wife of The Chief of the Naval Staff. After an invocation to the Gods was recited, she broke a coconut on ship's bow, named the ship and wished the ship and "crew to be", good luck.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Guest, Admiral RK Dhowan lauded the contributions made by MDL in meeting the growing requirements of the Navy. He also commended the efforts put in by DGND (SSG) and his team in the design of the state of the art warships. He was also very appreciative of the role played by DRDO and the industry for relentlessly contributing towards achieving Indian Navy's dream of transforming itself from a "Buyers Navy" to a "Builders Navy".

The Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL)'s second Visakhapatnam Class-destroyer, with more than 60 per cent indigenization and increased stealth power, was launched ahead of its schedule. Mormugao, the Navy's newest stealth destroyer, was launched 15 September 2016 in Mumbai. The vessel was built by Maximum City's Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders - India's foremost shipyard - which has already delivered six major warship to the Indian Navy since 2010. More than 60% of the ship will be built in India. In other words, it will highly 'indigenized.' With a launch weight of 2844 tonnes, the vessel made its first contact with water at 11:58 AM with full fanfare during the launching ceremony graced by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba as the Chief Guest. In keeping with maritime traditions, Smt Reena Lanba, President, Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA), broke a coconut on the ship’s bow and launched the ship, as invocation from the Atharva Veda was being rendered.

The Navy plans to increase the degree of 'indigenization' in its 15B ships to 68%. The next ship in the 'Vishakapatnam' series is Paradip, the name of a coastal Gujarati city.

The "Vishakapatnam" class destroyers, which use a large number of imported weapons, will be difficult in the future maintenance process. After all, their main guns, air defense missiles, and near-defense weapons are from three different countries: Italy, Russia and Russia. This does not count the power system, combat command system, etc. In the event of a breakdown of these systems, the use of the Visakhapatnam-class destroyer will be affected.

The launch of third ship of Project 15B (Yard 12706), Guided Missile Destroyer Imphal on April 20, 2019 at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai, marks yet another significant milestone in the annals of the indigenous warship design and construction programme of India. With a launch weight of 3037 tonnes, the vessel made its first contact with water with full fanfare during the launching ceremony graced by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba. In keeping with maritime traditions, Smt Reena Lanba, President NWWA, named the ship 'Imphal' and broke a coconut on the ship's bow prior to launching of the ship, as invocation from the Atharva Veda was rendered.

Y 12704 (Visakhapatnam), the lead ship of Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyers being built at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL), was delivered to the Indian Navy on 28 October 2021. The delivery of Visakhapatnam is an affirmation of the impetus being given by the Government of India and the Indian Navy towards ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ as part of 75 years of Indian Independence. The induction of the destroyer, despite the COVID challenges, is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of large number of stake holders and would enhance the maritime prowess of the country in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Indian Navy inducted INS Visakhapatnam on 11 November 2021 to boost the country's capacity to counter threats, both above water and on the surface. The warship will be commissioned into the Indian navy in the presence of India's defence minister Rajnath Singh.

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Page last modified: 21-11-2021 18:39:23 ZULU