Indian Navy press release
The contract for four ships of Project 15B was signed on 28 January 2011. This Project is a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers commissioned in the last decade and the lead ship of the Project – INS Visakhapatnam has already been commissioned into the Indian Navy on 21 November 2021.
Designed by the Warship Design Bureau, the Indian Navy’s in-house organization; and built by M/s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai; the four ships of the Project are christened after major cities from all four corners of the country, viz. Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal and Surat.
The keel of Mormugao was laid in June 2015 and the ship was launched on 17 September 2016. The design has largely maintained the hull form, propulsion machinery, many platform equipment and major weapons and sensors as the Kolkata class to benefit from series production.
The ship is 163 meters long and 17 meters wide, displaces 7400 tonnes when fully loaded, and has a maximum speed of 30 knots. Apart from myriad indigenous equipment in the ‘Float’ and ‘Move’ categories, the destroyer is also installed with the under-mentioned major indigenous weapons. The overall indigenous content of the project is approx. 75%.
- Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (BEL, Bangalore)
- BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles (BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi)
- Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai)
- Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai)
- 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (BHEL, Haridwar)
The ship sailed out for her maiden sea sortie on 19 December 2021 to coincide with the Goa Liberation Day and the ship has now been delivered. The delivery of Mormugao is an affirmation of the impetus being given by the Government of India and the Indian Navy towards ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ as part of the celebration of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The early induction of the destroyer, almost 03 months prior to the contractual date, despite the COVID challenges, is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of a large number of stakeholders and would enhance the maritime prowess of the country in the Indian Ocean Region.
About Project 15B / Visakhapatnam-class destroyers
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 meters in length and 17.4 meters in 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, seakeeping, stealth, and maneuverability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through the shaping of the hull and the use of radar-transparent deck fittings which make these ships difficult to detect. The design around the bridge area appears to be the 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 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.
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 and delivered today. The third destroyer, Imphal, was launched in April 2019. The fourth and final vessel of the class will be Surat which was launched in May 2022. All four destroyers are being built at MDL.