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India commissions first Project 15B destroyer

The Indian Navy has commissioned its first Project 15B guided-missile destroyer.

The vessel, INS Visakhapatnam (D66), was inducted into service on 21 November at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, the Indian Ministry of Defence announced on the same day. The destroyer was launched in 2015 and handed over to the Indian Navy in October 2021.

At the vessel's commissioning ceremony, Indian Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh described Visakhapatnam as a symbol of the country's “growing maritime prowess” and that it is “one of the most technologically advanced guided-missile destroyers in the world”.

The Project 15B vessel is an evolution of the Indian Navy's Project 15A programme, which is also commonly known as the Kolkata class. Main differences between the two variants include reduced radar cross-sections on the Project 15B ships.

The Project 15B vessel has an overall length of approximately 164 m, an overall beam of approximately 18 m, and displaces approximately 7,200 tonnes at full load. The warship has a top speed of 32 kt and a standard range of 4,500 n miles at 18 kt.

Indigenous weapon systems that have been incorporated on the destroyer include the BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles, torpedo tube launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers from Larsen & Toubro, and 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mounts from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.

Its suite of sensors includes the IAI-Elta-designed EL/M-2248 Multi-Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar, the Terma Scanter 6002 I-band surface-search radar, and the BEL RAWL-02 Mk III D-band air-search radar.

Besides Visakhapatnam, the Indian Navy is anticipating the delivery of three more Project 15B destroyers. Two of the vessels, Mormugao and Imphal

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