Navy warms up to launch stealth destroyer Visakhapatnam
Bengaluru, April 19: Indian Navy is all set to launch the first of P15-B stealth destroyers at the Mazagaon Docks Limited (MDL) in Mumbai tomorrow (April 20).
Naval officials told OneIndia that MDL is launching the vessel, christened Visakhapatnam (on commissioning it will be officially INS Visakhapatnam), in the conventional end method.
Visakhapatnam will weight approximately 3000 tons during the launch.
"In ship building the underwater hull cannot be constructed on the slipway or drydock. The process of the hull, constructed on slip way, being put to sea for the first time is called launching," a naval spokesperson said.
Visakhapatnam is the follow-on of P15A-Kolkota class destroyers, with enhanced features. It is expected to be commissioned in the Navy by 2018.
Loaded with state-of-the-art weapons
The ship is 163-m long ship and is being propelled by four gas turbines. It is designed to achieve a speed of over 30 knots at a displacement of approx 7300 tons.
"It has state-of-the-art weapons, sensors, an advance Action Information System, Integrated Platform Management system, sophisticated Power Distribution System and a host of other advanced features," the spokesperson said.
Once operational, Visakhapatnam will be armed with supersonic surface-to-surface missile system.
"The missile system will enable Visakhapatnam to engage shore-based and naval surface targets at long range. The ship's air defence capability, designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles, will revolve around the vertical launch and long range surface to air missile system," the spokesperson said.
Adding punch to anti-submarine capabilities
The ship will be fitted with four 30 mm rapid-fire guns to provide close-in-defence capability while an MR gun will enable her to provide effective naval gunfire support.
Visakhapatnam will also be armed with indigenously-developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and rocket launchers, adding punch to its anti-submarine capabilities.
"The P15-B stealth destroyers, designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, bear testimony to the Indian Navy's prowess in designing state-of-the-art naval combatants comparable to the best in the world.
The design of Project 15B destroyers once again marks the Navy's firm commitment towards achieving indigenization by using high end technology," the spokesperson added.
Currently, four destroyers and six submarines are under various stages of construction at MDL.
Photos: Indian Navy