Mumbai: An indigenously designed and constructed guided missile destroyer, described as among the most technologically advanced in the world, was launched at the Mazagaon Dock Ship Builders Limited at a colourful ceremony.
With a launch weight of 2,844 tonnes, the vessel made its maiden entry into the water at noon amid much fanfare, with Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba, who was the chief guest for the ceremony, asserting that the “Indian Navy stands fully committed to the call of ‘Make in India’ and we are extremely proud of the fact that all our warships and submarines on order today are being constructed within the country.”
Admiral Lanba’s wife, Reema Lanba, launched the bedecked ship christened ‘Mormugao’ by breaking a coconut on the ship’s bow, after which it slid into the Arabian Sea.
Admiral Lanba said the warship’s launch was “an affirmation of our resolve that the Indian Navy should attain a size and capability that is commensurate with India’s growing stature in the world, our national maritime interests, and our commitment to cooperation, collaboration towards ensuring secure seas for shaping a favourable and positive maritime environment.”
There is a pressing need for building more such ships and gaining the ability to do so within smaller deadlines, the navy chief said.
The contract for the Mormugao was signed in January 2011 and it is the second ship of the Vishakapatnam class, the first having been launched on April 20 2015.
Four more Guided Missile Destroyers of Project 15B are under construction at Mazagaon Dock with the design having been developed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design, New Delhi. These will be delivered between 2020-2024. Each of the vessels span 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam and displaces 7,300 tonnes. They will be propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
The P15B destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, stealth and ship manoevrability. They will be equipped to carry and operate two multi-role helicopters. The ships boast firepower aided by a sophisticated weapons-sensor suite including vertically launched surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-surface missiles for long distance engagement of shore and sea-based targets.
These ships have been designed for a complement of 50 officers and 250 sailors. The accommodation and working spaces have been designed with special emphasis on ergonomics and habitability.
Mormugao becomes the fifth frontline warship — including an indigenous aircraft carrier being launched in six years — in addition to three frigates, three destroyers and two corvettes which are to be delivered by the dockyard over the same period.