Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) has handed over the Indian Navy’s first Project 15B stealth guided-missile destroyer, ‘Y 12704 (Visakhapatnam)’.

The Project 15B ships are a follow-on of the Kolkata-class destroyers (Project 15A) and also known as the Visakhapatnam-class destroyers.

MDL is under contract, which was signed in January 2011, to build four Project 15B warships for the Indian Navy.

The ships are designed by the service’s in-house design organisation ‘Directorate of Naval Design’.

The warships have been named after major Indian cities, namely Visakhapatnam, Imphal, Surat and Mormugao.

With a full load displacement of 7,400t, each 163m-long Project 15B ship features advanced technology and is designed to cruise at a maximum speed of 30k.

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According to information by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Project 15B features overall indigenous content of nearly 75%.

The destroyers will be equipped with indigenous weapons, including Bel’s medium-range surface-to-air missiles, BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, and Larsen & Toubro’s indigenous torpedo tube launchers and anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers.

The ships will also be equipped with a BHEL-manufactured 76mm super rapid gun mount.

The Y 12704 was launched in April 2015 and its keel was laid in October 2013.

In a statement, the MoD said: “The delivery of Visakhapatnam is an affirmation of the impetus being given by the Government of India and the Indian Navy towards ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ as part of 75 years of Indian Independence.

“The induction of the destroyer, despite the Covid challenges, is a tribute to the collaborative efforts of a large number of stakeholders and would enhance the maritime prowess of the country in the Indian Ocean Region.”

In a separate development, the MoD announced the launch of the seventh Indian Navy Frigate of P1135.6 class at Yantar Shipyard, Russia. The vessel was officially named ‘Tushil’ during the launching ceremony.