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Stealth guided missile destroyer Imphal commissioned into Indian Navy

INS Imphal, the third Project 15B stealth-guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the presence of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh at an impressive ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, on Tuesday, Dec. 26. 2023. (Photo: Defence Production India/ Twitter)

MUMBAI (PTI): Stealth guided missile destroyer Imphal, which has an ability to fire advanced supersonic BRAHMOS cruise missile, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Mumbai on Tuesday.

Apart from Singh, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde attended the event that marked the formal induction into the Navy of the third of four 'Visakhapatnam' class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Navy's in-house organisation, Warship Design Bureau, and constructed by defence PSU Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.

INS Imphal is the first warship to have been named after a city from northeast India.

INS Imphal was delivered to Indian Navy on October 20 after the completion of a rigorous and comprehensive trial programme both in the harbour and at sea.

"Subsequently, the ship successfully test-fired the extended-range supersonic BRAHMOS missile in November 2023, a first for any indigenous warship before commissioning, thus demonstrating the Navy's thrust on combat effectiveness and confidence in its cutting-edge indigenous weapons and platforms," the Navy said.

Project 15B (Visakhapatnam class) is the latest in the lineage of Project 15A (Kolkata class) and Project 15 (Delhi class) indigenous destroyers with upgraded capabilities and greater indigenous content.

Measuring 163 metres in length, displacing 7,400 tonnes and with 75 per cent indigenous content, Imphal is "one of the most potent warships" to have been constructed in the country, the Navy said.

INS Imphal is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 30 knots and is packed with sophisticated 'state of the art' weapons and sensors, such as Surface to Surface Missile and Surface to Air Missiles.

The ship is fitted with a modern surveillance radar that provides target data to the gunnery weapon systems of the ship. The ship's anti-submarine warfare capabilities are provided by the indigenously developed rocket launchers, torpedo launchers and ASW helicopters.

The ship is equipped to fight under Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions and has a high degree of automation and stealth features further enhancing her combat capability and survivability, the Navy said.

It added that some of the major indigenised equipment/ systems onboard are the Indigenous Medium Range Surface to Air Missiles, surface to surface missiles, torpedo tubes, anti-submarine rocket launchers, super rapid gun mount, besides combat management system, integrated platform management system, automated power management system, foldable hangar doors, helo traversing system, close-in weapon system and bow mounted sonar.

The time taken to build Imphal and for its trials is the shortest for any indigenous destroyer, the Navy said.

Its keel was laid on May 17, 2017 and the ship was launched into water on April 20, 2019. The ship sailed out for her maiden sea trials on April 28 2023 and has completed a comprehensive schedule of trials, both in the harbour and at sea.

It was delivered to the Navy on October 20, 2023 within a record time frame of six months – the fastest for a ship of its size, the Navy added.

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