Visakhapatnam is the first of four vessels on order for the Indian Navy. The first-in-class ship was laid down in October 2013 and launched in April 2015. It was followed by the future INS Mormugao which was launched in September 2016. The third destroyer, Imphal, was launched in April 2019. The fourth and final vessel of the class will be Porbandar which is expected to be launched next year. All four destroyers are being built at MDL. Visakhapatnam is set to be commissioned in December 2021.
“Induction of the destroyer will not only enhance combat readiness of the Indian Navy but will also be a major leap forward towards our quest for Aatmanirbhar Bharat”
Indian Navy statement
AatmaNirbhar Bharat is the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making India a self-reliant nation.
The Project 15B (P15B) / Visakhapatnam-class is the latest destroyer design currently under construction for the Indian Navy. These ships have been designed indigenously by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi. Each ship spans 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam and displaces 7,300 tonnes. These ships will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots.
According to the Indian Navy, the P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and maneuverability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. The design around the bridge area appears to be main design change compared to the preceding Kolkata-class. P15B ships will be equipped to carry and operate two multi-role helicopters.
The Visakhapatnam-class shares several sensor and weapon systems with its preceding design, the Kolkata-class (Project 15A) of destroyers: The IAI EL/M-2248 MF-STAR S-band AESA multi-function radar, Thales LW-08 D-band air search radar, BEL HUMSA-NG bow sonar are fitted on both classes. Like Project 15A, the Project 15B will be fitted with 32x Barak 8 surface to air missiles (launched from VLS cells) as well as 16 BrahMos anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles.
While the Visakhapatnam-class was initially set to receive a 127mm main gun (by BAE Systems), the main gun is finally similar to that of the Kolkata-class: 76mm by Leonardo.