INS Visakhapatnam is the first ship of the Project 15B guided missile destroyers. Credit: Indian Navy.
The Project 15B guided missile destroyers are being constructed at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL). Credit: Indian Navy.
INS Mormugao was launched in September 2016. Credit: Indian Navy.

The Project 15B class of guided-missile destroyers, an improved variant of the Kolkata-class destroyers, are built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) for the Indian Navy.

The contract for the construction of four Project 15B destroyers was signed in January 2011. The keel for the first Project 15B ship, named INS Visakhapatnam (D 66), was laid in October 2013, and the vessel was launched in April 2015.

The keel-laying ceremony of the second destroyer in class, INS Mormugao (D 67), was held in June 2015, and the vessel was launched at the MDL shipyard in Mumbai in September 2016.

Project 15B destroyers design and features

The Project 15B ships retain the hull design of the Kolkata-class destroyers but will incorporate advanced stealth features and a high degree of automation. Designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, the vessels will offer improved survivability, sea keeping and high manoeuvrability.

The sleek hull design in combination with radar transparent deck fittings will make the vessels difficult to detect.

With a state-of-the-art sensor package and weapons, the destroyers will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced guided missile destroyers. The significant indigenous content reflects the nation’s self-reliance in warship design and shipbuilding.

Each vessel will measure 163m long and 17.4m wide, with a displacement of 7,300t. The ships will be operated by a crew of 350, including 50 officers and 250 sailors. The accommodation and working areas will offer superior ergonomics and habitability.

The destroyers will feature multiple fire zones, battle damage control systems (BDCS) and distributional power systems for improved survivability and reliability in emergent conditions. The total atmospheric control system (TACS) on board the vessel will protect the crew from chemical, biological and nuclear threats.

Combat management system

The ship will integrate a modern combat management system (CMS), which will conduct threat evaluation and allocate the resources based on the tactical picture compiled and weapons package available on board. The ship data network (SDN) will carry the data from all the sensors and weapons on board.

Project 15B weapon systems

The ship’s primary firepower will constitute vertically launched Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles (SAM), and BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) for long-range engagement of shore and sea-based targets.

Two 16-cell vertical launchers on board the vessel will be capable of launching a total of 32 Barak 8 missiles, while two eight-cell universal vertical launcher modules will allow the launch of 16 BrahMos SAMs.

The forward bow deck will be fitted with a 127mm main gun, while the vessel will be installed with four AK-630 30mm guns for close-point defence capability. The destroyer will also be armed with indigenously developed 533mm torpedo launchers and RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers to provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.

Helicopter handling system

The aft heli-deck of the P 15B ships will support the operations of two multi-role rotorcraft including Sea King or HAL Dhruv helicopters.

The state-of-the-art rail-less helicopter traversing system on board the vessel will ensure efficient helicopter handling on the deck; and the vessels will also feature a hangar facility to accommodate two helicopters.

Propulsion system

The ships will be equipped with a combined gas and gas (COGAG) configuration integrating four gas turbines. The power plant will also integrate two diesel engines and four generator sets. The propulsion system will allow the ships to achieve speeds of more than 30k and a maximum range of 4,000nmi.