In a milestone for indigenous shipbuilding, the Indian Navy received the Project 15B guided missile destroyer, Imphal, today, showcasing the nation’s commitment to ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ and bolstering its maritime capabilities in the Indian Ocean region.
Yard 12706 (Imphal), the third project 15B stealth-guided missile destroyer, crafted at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders in Mumbai, achieved a feat as it was officially handed over to the Indian Navy on 20 October 2023. This delivery is a leap forward in India’s quest for self-reliance in defence manufacturing and maritime supremacy.
The Imphal destroyer is the latest addition to the Indian Navy’s arsenal, following her predecessors, the Indian Naval ships Visakhapatnam and Mormugao, commissioned in the past two years. This vessel is designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau.
With a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164m, the Imphal is a versatile platform equipped with weaponry and sensors including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. Powered by a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion set consisting of four gas turbines, the vessel can achieve speeds of more than 30 knots (56km per hour).
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The Imphal destroyer has much indigenous content, possessing approximately 75% of components made in India. These include medium-range surface-to-air missiles from Bel in Bangalore, BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles by BrahMos Aerospace in New Delhi, indigenous torpedo tube launchers crafted by Larsen & Toubro in Mumbai, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers also from Larsen & Toubro, and a 76mm super rapid gun mount manufactured by BHEL in Haridwar.
Indigenously built ships can be customised, maintained, repaired and overhauled in a domestic facility without depending on a foreign supplier for spare parts and other accessories, GlobalData’s The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023–2033 report highlights.
Imphal’s keel was laid on 19 May 2017, and launched into the water on 20 April 2019. The ship embarked on its maiden sea trials on 28 April 2023, followed by a schedule of trials in the harbour and at sea. The entire process culminated in the vessel’s delivery within six months.
This achievement resonates with the Indian Government’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative, demonstrating the nation’s commitment to reducing dependence on foreign defence imports and fostering a domestic defence industry.
The induction of the Imphal destroyer has had collaborative efforts from numerous indigenous stakeholders, representing a leap towards enhancing India’s maritime strength and influence in the strategically vital Indian Ocean region.
According to GlobalData’s The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023–2033 report, China is the largest market in the Asia-Pacific region with a 28.9% share, followed by India with 20.0%.
Imphal‘s technology, indigenous components and construction exemplify India’s commitment to self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing. This vessel is set to play a role in safeguarding India’s maritime interests.
This month, India celebrated another step towards self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing with the handover of the LCA Tejas Twin Seater to the Indian Air Force.