The Indian Navy also announced the test-firing of the BrahMos missile on its official social media channels, emphasizing a dual accomplishment: verifying the precision of the ship’s combat system and weapons complex, as well as validating a new capability provided by the missile.
Rajnard Singh, India’s Minister of Defence, congratulated the team for their achievement on Twitter.
“The robustness of the Indian Navy mission readiness is reconfirmed today after the successful launch of the advanced version of BrahMos Missile from INS Vishakhapatnam today.”
Rajnard Singh, India’s Defence Minister
The naval variant of the Brahmos was tested by the Indian Navy’s indigenously developed stealth destroyer INS Chennai and Rajput-class destroyer INS Ranvijay in October and December 2020, respectively.
The naval variant of the advanced BrahMos cruise missile will serve as the backbone of the Indian Navy’s firepower, with quite high speed, reduced radar cross-section, and increased range.
INS Visakhapatnam, the leading stealth guided-missile destroyer of P15B class, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on November 21, 2021. It is 163 meters long, 17 meters wide, and has a displacement of 7,400 tons, making it one of the most powerful warships ever built in India.
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.
The ship is propelled by four strong Gas Turbines in a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) arrangement, capable of exceeding 30 knots. The ship has improved stealth features that result in a lower Radar Cross Section (RCS) accomplished through efficient hull shape, full beam superstructure design, plated masts, and the use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks.
The Visakhapatnam-class shares several sensors 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, 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.