With the Chinese Navy increasing its numbers at a blazing pace, the Indian Navy is also stepping up the tempo and how. By upping production speed, deploying cutting-edge technology and by going indigenous—a process already spurred by the ongoing ‘atmanirbharta’ effort.
In that sense, the INS Imphal—the third amongst the four Project 15B guided missile stealth destroyers—is a perfect indictment of the new approach.
From its keel-laying on May 19, 2017 to its launch on April 20, 2019 in less than two years, and from the commencement of sea trials on April 28, this year to delivery—within six months to the Indian Navy—on October 20, the INS Imphal stands testimony to India’s new focus.
Indian Navy’s spokesperson commander Vivek Madhwal said: “India’s first Indigenous destroyer INS Imphal has taken a very short time to build and complete its sea trials.”
On Tuesday, the crest of Yard 12706 (Imphal), built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), will be unveiled in New Delhi. This is also the first time that an Indian Navy ship has been named after a city in India’s northeastern region.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and senior defence ministry officials are expected to be present at the crest unveiling on Tuesday.
As per the maritime traditions and naval customs, Indian naval ships and submarines are named after prominent cities, mountain ranges, rivers, ports and islands.
On November 22, it was from the INS Imphal that the first-ever test-firing of the extended-range Brahmos missile by a warship was conducted before the commissioning.
The warship is likely to be commissioned into the Indian Navy next month. It has been designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd in Mumbai.
A Navy release called the ship “amongst the most technologically advanced warships in the world” that boasts of “a high indigenous content of approximately 75 percent, including medium range surface to air missiles, ‘BrahMos; surface to surface missile, indigenous torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers, and 76 mm super rapid gun mount (SRGM).
Capable of speeds of more than knots or 45 kmph, several top Indian companies have been involved in the INS Imphal. Among them are Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru, BrahMos Aerospace in New Delhi, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) in Mumbai which made the indigenous torpedo tube launchers and anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers, and Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited (BHEL) in Haridwar which manufactured the 76mm super rapid gun mount.