INS Visakhapatnam to be commissioned on Nov 18, followed by INS Vela sub

By, New Delhi
Nov 01, 2021 01:36 PM IST

The Visakhapatnam-class shares several sensor and weapon systems with its preceding design, the Kolkata-class (Project 15A) of destroyers. 

With the global focus on Indo-Pacific, defence minister Rajnath Singh is expected to commission guided-missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, the first of the four of its class, on November 18 in Mumbai to add more teeth to the Indian Navy. The stealth P 15B destroyer was delivered to the Indian Navy on October 28 after all sea checks and trials.

INS Visakhapatnam has been built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders.(File Photo)
INS Visakhapatnam has been built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders.(File Photo)

It is understood that INS Vela, the fourth out of six INS Kalveri class diesel attack submarines, will also be commissioned before the end of this month most likely by external affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar or by outgoing Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh. Both the vessels have been built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders with INS Vela being designed by the French naval group.

According to the Indian Navy, all the four destroyers of the Visakhapatnam class including INS Mormugao, Imphal and Porbandar, will be launched by 2022 with the destroyers adding to the punch of Indian military might and coverage of the Indo-Pacific.

Even though INS Vela is a diesel attack submarine, it will act as sea denial as well as access denial to the adversary. Designed on the Scorpene-class, the Exocet missile-carrying submarine may be fitted with DRDO designed air-independent propulsion technology at a later stage as part of its mid-life refit.

According to the Indian Navy, the P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea denial, stealth and enhanced manoeuvrability. The stealth features have been achieved through new hull design 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 of destroyers. P15B ships will be equipped to carry and operate two US MH 60 R 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.

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    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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