Thursday, December 2, 2021

INS Visakhapatnam & Vela, new members of the Indian Navy

by Staff Correspondent

IADB: November 2021 is a landmark month for the Indian Navy with Commissioning of ‘Visakhapatnam’, the first stealth guided missile destroyer ship of the Project 15B in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 21 Nov 21. Commissioning of Vela, the fourth submarine of Project-75 is also scheduled for 25th of Nov 21 and the Chief Guest for the event is Chief of Naval Staff. These would be followed by the launch of the first ship of the Survey Vessel Large project, Sandhayak in early Dec 21.

Visakhapatnam has been constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is amongst the largest destroyers constructed in India with an overall length of 163m and displacement of over 7400 tons. The ship has a significant indigenous content of approx. 75% contributing towards AtmaNirbhar Bharat. The ship is a potent platform capable of undertaking multifarious tasks and missions spanning the full spectrum of maritime warfare.

Visakhapatnam is equipped with an array of weapons & sensors, which include supersonic surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, medium and short-range guns, anti-submarine rockets and advanced electronic warfare and communication suit’s. The ship is propelled by a powerful combined gas and gas propulsion which enables her speed of over 30 knots. The ship has the capability of embarking two integrated helicopters to further extend her reach. The ship boasts of a very high level of automation with sophisticated digital networks, Combat Management System and Integrated Platform Management System.

Six Submarines are being constructed under theProject-75. With the commissioning of Vela, the project would have crossed the halfway mark. These submarines are being constructed at M/s MDL and construction is based on the French Scorpene class design. M/s Naval Group, the French collaborator for this project. The submarine has been slotted to join the Submarine fleet of the Western Naval Command. The indigenous Construction of Submarines is indicative of the maturity of the Indian construction capability as well as the realization of ‘Atma-Nirbharta’. Vela is the fourth Submarine and has completed most of its trials and is combat worthy and ready to take on operational tasking.

‘Sandhyak’ is the first of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata for the Indian Navy. The contract for building four SVL ships was signed between MoD and GRSE on 30 Oct 18. These large Survey ships envisaged to replace the existing Sandhayak Class survey ships are equipped with new generation hydrographic equipment including AUVs, ROVs, 11m survey boats and advanced indigenous data acquisition systems to collect and analyze oceanographic and geophysical data in the Indian Ocean Region.

The curtain raiser for the Commissioning ceremony and the launch was held on 16 Nov 21 by VAdm SN Ghormade, the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) with Chief of Materiel, Controller of Warship Production & Acquisition, Director General of Naval Design, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Submarines), Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy & Plans), Director (Submarines & Heavy Engineering), MDL and Director (Shipbuilding), GRSE in attendance. Speaking on the occasion, the VCNS stated that the event highlights the capability and capacity of, not just the Indian Navy but also of MDL, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and MSMEs in realizing the National Objectives of “Make in India” and “AtmaNirbhar Bharat”.

On the occasion, VCNS also brought out that presently, 39 Naval ships and submarines are being constructed in various shipyards. This in turn has created enormous opportunities for not only the indigenous shipbuilding industry but also the associated support industries.

VCNS also brought out that the commissioning ceremony, also coincides with the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh’ celebrations, and the induction of INS Visakhapatnam and INS Vela, is thus not only another step towards strengthening our defence preparedness but also our humble tribute to the sacrifices made.

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