November 23, 2021 - 8:59 am

 India's First Guided-Missile Destroyer

The Indian navy's firepower got a major boost with the induction of INS Visakapatnam, one of the fourth stealth guided missile destroyer ships (INS Visakhapatnam, INS Mormugao, INS Imphal and INS Porbandar) under project 15B, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy's in-house Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock shipbuilders, Mumbai with ₹35,000 crore. The next ship is set to be commissioned in 2023 while the other two are planned to be inducted by 2025.

                              The destroyer class ship is one of the largest commissioned in India, with a length of 163 m and displacement of over 7400 tons. It has a total complement of about 315 personnel, will be the navy's most potant warship. With access of 30 knots (55 km per hour), the warship incorporates stealth features, with a reduced radar cross-sections (RCS) achieved through efficient shaping of hull, full beam superstructure design, plated masts and use of radar transparent materials on exposed decks. It's equipped with an array of weapons and sensors including supersonic surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, medium and short-range artillery, anti-submarine rockets and an electronic warfare communication suite. It can also extend its reach using two integrated helicopters.

                             Defence minister Rajnath Singh sharply criticized China, without naming it, for ruling the "rule based and stable maritime order" and "freedom of navigation and security of sea lanes" and added that "in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) territorial waters of nations, exclusive economic zones and the principle of 'Good order at sea' have been propounded. Some irresponsible nations, for the sake of their narrow partitions interests, keep on giving new and inappropriate interpretations to these International laws from hegemonic tendencies. The arbitrary interpretations create obstacles in the path of a rule-based maritime order. We envision a rule-based Info-Pacific, with freedom of navigation, free trade and universal values, in which the interests of all participating countries are protected. With the changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean region, Visakhapatnam will augment the Indian Navy's mobility, reach and flexibility towards the accomplishments of its rule and tasks.