Indian Navy commissions the indigenously designed and built stealth destroyer INS Visakhapatnam

Published : November 22, 2021 11:04 IST

INS Visakhapatnam, the stealth guided-missile destroyer, during commissioning ceremony at the naval base in Mumbai on November 21. Photo: KUNAL PATIL/PTI

The Indian Navy’s mobility, reach, flexibility and capability to undertake a broad spectrum of maritime missions went up several notches as the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Visakhapatnam, the first of the stealth guided-missile destroyers being indigenously constructed under Project 15B, was commissioned at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on November 21. The warship is equipped to fight under nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare conditions.

INS Visakhapatnam, given its impressive size—163 metres in length, 17m in breadth and with a displacement of 7,400 tonnes—is one of the most potent warships built in India. The Rs.35,000 crore Project 15B envisages the construction of four stealth guided-missile destroyers, with the remaining three to be commissioned between 2023 and 2025.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present at the commissioning, said INS Visakhapatnam was “one of the most technologically advanced guided missile destroyers in the world” and a warship that will “cater to the present and future requirements of the Armed Forces and the nation as a whole”.

Designed at the Directorate of Naval Design, the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, and built by the state-owned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai, INS Visakhapatnam is propelled by four powerful gas turbines and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Boasting a very high level of automation, INS Visakhapatnam has the capability to embark two anti-submarine warfare helicopters and is packed with sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, medium and short-range guns, anti-submarine rockets and advanced electronic warfare and communication suits. It is fitted with a modern surveillance radar and its anti-submarine warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed rocket launchers and torpedo tube launchers.

A unique feature of INS Visakhapatnam is the high level of indigenisation incorporated in the warship’s production. The ship, which is under the command of Captain Birendra Singh Bains, a navigation and direction specialist, has a total complement of about 315 personnel.

Appreciating the commitment of the Indian Navy to self-reliance, Rajnath Singh cited the Navy’s decision to order 39 (out of a total 41 ships and submarines ordered) from Indian shipyards. The Defence Minister also praised the Indian Navy’s consistent efforts to participate in various outreach programmes with private industries and said that “the steps taken by the government will continue to provide a boost to the self-reliance efforts”. India “will soon build ships for the entire world,” he said.