Rajnath commissions Navy’s top-performing warship, INS Visakhapatnam

The Indian Navy commissioned its tenth destroyer, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Visakhapatnam, with a capacity of 7,400 tonnes, on Sunday. This is the lead ship of a new class of four guided missile destroyers that Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai (MDL) is building under Project 15B for Rs 35,800 crore, or Rs 8,950 crore per ship.

The next three destroyers of Project 15B will join the Navy fleet at one-year intervals. They are named INS Mormugao, Imphal and Surat.

The tradition of naming naval destroyers after Indian cities began with Project 15 – which resulted in INS Delhi in 1997, INS Mysore in 1999, and INS Mumbai in 2001.

This was followed by Project 15A, Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioning the main warship, INS Kolkata, to MDL on August 16, 2014. INS Kolkata was followed by INS Kochi in 2015 and INS Chennai in 2016.

However, even after the commissioning of the four Project 15B destroyers, the navy will have to make do with 10 destroyers, as three old Rajput-class ships, which were purchased from Moscow in the mid-1980s, are about to go. ‘be taken out of service.

In contrast, the Chinese navy – the People’s Liberation Army (Navy) or PLA (N) – has a fleet of 42 destroyers. These include four massive 13,000-ton Renhai-class cruisers known as Type 055; 21 modern 7,500 ton Luyang III class destroyers known as Type 052; six older 7,000 ton Luyang II class destroyers known as Type 052C; and eleven older, lower performing Type 051C, 052B, 051B, 052 and Soviet-era Sovremenny-class destroyers.

Undeterred by the huge numerical advantage of the PLA (N), Defense Minister Rajnath Singh sharply criticized China, without naming it, for eroding “the stable, rules-based maritime order” and “freedom of navigation and the safety of sea lanes”.

Supporting the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the basis for good order at sea, Singh said: “Some irresponsible nations, in the name of their narrow partisan interests, continue to give new and inappropriate interpretations to these international laws of hegemonic tendencies. These arbitrary interpretations create obstacles in the way of a rules-based maritime order.

“We envision a rules-based Indo-Pacific, with freedom of navigation, free trade and universal values, in which the interests of all participating countries are protected,” he said.

The Defense Minister appreciated the navy’s self-reliance efforts, pointing out that 39 of the 41 warships and submarines ordered, including the first native aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, are being built in shipyards indians.

INS Visakhapatnam will be the navy’s most powerful warship. It is powered by four gas turbines which allow it to travel more than 30 knots (55 kilometers per hour). The warship incorporates stealth features, with a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) thanks to efficient hull shaping, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and the use of radar transparent materials on exposed bridges.

Its suite of weapons and sensors is world-class, with protection against enemy aircraft and incoming anti-ship missiles being provided 70 kilometers away by the eponymous Indo-Israel surface-to-surface missile (MR-SAM), coupled to the Multi-Function Radar Monitoring and Threat Alert (MF-STAR).

The destroyer’s ground attack capability and anti-ship capability are achieved through a bank of Indo-Russian BrahMos cruise missiles that are fired through vertical launch cartridges at targets up to 295 kilometers away. The 76 millimeter main gun is built at Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Haridwar.

Protection against submarines is provided by native rocket launchers, torpedo launchers and helicopters anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The vessel is fitted with nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) warfare protection equipment, all of its air requirements being filtered through NBC filters.

INS Visakhapatnam achieved an indigenization level of 75% through a combat management system (CMS), rocket and torpedo launchers, and digital control systems such as an integrated platform management system. form (IPMS), an automated power management system (APMS), a foldable hangar doors, helicopter movement system, close-quarters weapon system and bow-mounted sonar.

Even the DMR 249A warship grade steel from which the Visakhapatnam is built was manufactured locally by the Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL)

The ship has a total workforce of around 315 people. Its first commanding officer will be Captain Birendra Singh Bains.

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