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Indian Navy receives first Project 15B guided-missile destroyer

The Indian Navy (IN) has received the first of four Project 15B guided-missile destroyers ordered in January 2011.

Named Visakhapatnam (pennant number D 66), the 163 m-long warship – which was launched in April 2015 – was handed over to the navy by state-owned shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in a ceremony held on 28 October at the company's facilities in Mumbai.

The Project 15B (Visakhapatnam-class) warships are a follow-on variant of the IN's three in-service Project 15A (Kolkata-class) destroyers, with the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) saying on 31 October that the new vessels have “largely maintained the hull form, propulsion machinery”, as well as many of the major sensor and weapon systems featured on the Kolkata class “to benefit from series production”.

Construction of the three remaining Project 15B destroyers is ongoing, with second-of-class Mormugao expected to enter service next year, and Imphal in 2023. The keel of the fourth and final vessel on order was laid in July 2018.

The PIB noted that about 75% of the vessels' components and systems are being sourced locally, including medium-range, surface-to-air missiles from Bangalore-based company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles from the BrahMos Aerospace joint venture in New Delhi, torpedo tube launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers from Larsen & Toubro in Mumbai, as well as 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mounts from Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited in Haridwar.

The onboard sensors include the IAI-Elta-designed EL/M-2248 Multi-Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR), which complements the vessel's Barak-8/NG air-defence missiles, the Terma Scanter 6002 I-band surface-search radar, and the BEL RAWL-02 Mk III D-band air-search radar, according to Janes Fighting Ships.

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