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India begins induction of new warships for battles in the Indo-Pacific

The P15B stealth guided-missile destroyer Visakhapatnam (Photo: Indian Navy)

The Indian Navy received its first P15B stealth guided-missile destroyer 'Visakhapatnam'. Manufactured indigenously by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), it is the first of four ships to be built in the shipyard.

Visakhapatnam, 163-metre with a full-load displacement of 7,400 tonnes, is sequel to the Kolkata class destroyers. The stealth warship can loiter for over 7,000 m, covering vast swathes of the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific.

Visakhapatnam will eventually head a family of four ships, the others being Marmugao, Imphal and Porbandar.  

If attacked by hostile aircraft, the ship protects itself with 32 Israeli built Barak missiles. It can attack other ships with homegrown BrahMos anti-ship missiles. It takes on hostile submarines, presumably using indigenous Varunastra heavyweight torpedoes.  The ship can deck two medium sized helicopters, primarily the Dhruv chopper built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or the Westland Sea King Mk. 42B.

In a series of tweets, the Indian Navy spokesperson said: "Yet another testament of impetus given by Govt of India & the Navy towards indigenous warship construction programmes. Visakhapatnam – first of the indigenous P15B stealth Guided Missile destroyers being built at Mazagon Docks, Mumbai delivered to Indian Navy on 28 Oct 21".

Highlighting the indigenous aspect, the tweet said: "Induction of the destroyer will not only enhance combat readiness of the Indian Navy but will also be a major leap forward towards our quest for #AatmanirbharBharat."

Believed to be more versatile than previous destroyers and frigates, it possesses all-round capability against enemy submarines, warships, anti-ship missiles and fighter aircraft. It is also fitted with indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons and sensors.