The Imphal set an Indian record for the shortest time for construction and in completing sea-trials, and will be commissioned into the Indian Navy in December. 

Having recently carried out successful firing of an Extended Range BrahMos missile, the Indian Navy’s Imphal, the third among four Project 15B guided missile stealth destroyers, is set to receive its crest in a ceremony in New Delhi on 28 November. 

Project 15B destroyers are the product of the incorporation of stealth features onto Kolkata-class destroyers in addition to a high degree of automation, and state-of-the-art sensors and weapons, marking the vessels as among the most technologically advanced guided-missile destroyers operating today. The sleek hull design in combination with radar transparent deck fittings will make the vessels difficult to detect.

Each vessel will measure 163 metres (m) long and 17.4m wide, with a displacement of 7,300 tonnes. The ships will be operated by a crew of 350, including 50 officers and 250 sailors, in accommodation  designed to offer enhanced ergonomics and habitability. For improved survivability and reliability in emergency conditions, the destroyers will have multiple fire zones, battle damage control systems, and distributional power systems. The vessel’s total atmospheric control system is designed to protect the crew from chemical, biological, and nuclear threats.

The Imphal was designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) using indigenously sourced systems that account for 75% of the ship’s make-up, in-line with the Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative to encourage domestic manufacturing and assembly. 

The Self-Reliant India initiative, ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, is part of an aim by the government of India to achieve a defence manufacturing turnover of $25bn by 2025, that saw India exporting defence equipment to over 75 countries in 2022, and defence exports reaching an all-time high for 2022-2023, at $1.92bn, a tenfold increase over 2016-2017.

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