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Indian Navy Strengthens its Fleet with Commissioning of INS Imphal, a State-of-the-Art Stealth Destroyer

Mumbai, December 26, 2023 – The Indian Navy has enhanced its maritime defense capabilities with the induction of INS Imphal, a cutting-edge Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyer. The warship was commissioned in a grand ceremony at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, graced by the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. INS Imphal represents the third installment of the four ‘Visakhapatnam’ class destroyers, a product of the collaboration between the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai.

In his address, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh highlighted INS Imphal as a testament to India’s self-reliance in defense production and a symbol of India’s growing maritime might. He emphasized the ship’s role in strengthening India’s maritime dominance, especially in the Indo-Pacific region, aligning with the principle of ‘Jalmev Yasya, Balmev Tasya’ (One Who Controls the Sea is All Powerful).

The ship, with a length of 163m and a displacement of 7,400 tonnes, is among the most formidable warships built in India. It is equipped with four powerful Gas Turbines in a Combined Gas & Gas configuration, enabling speeds exceeding 30 knots.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also acknowledged the collaborative efforts of various national entities in the ship’s construction, including Brahmos Aerospace, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), along with numerous startups and MSMEs. He stressed the importance of unified efforts for national development and security.

Further, the Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to modernizing all three services of the armed forces, underlining the strategic significance of maritime trade and the need for a robust Navy to secure India’s national interests. He also referenced recent suspected drone attacks on merchant vessels in the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea, affirming the government’s determination to counter such threats and ensure justice.

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, in his speech, described INS Imphal as a symbol of the Navy’s commitment to self-reliance and national unity. He expressed confidence in the ship’s capabilities to tackle various maritime threats and uphold national integrity. The Admiral also looked forward to the commissioning of the fourth Project 15B destroyer, ‘Surat’, in 2024.

Admiral R Hari Kumar highlighted the Indian Navy’s role in countering piracy and drone attacks, with the deployment of advanced assets like Project 15B & 15A class destroyers, P8I Aircraft, and other maritime surveillance resources. He also shared the Navy’s vision of inducting personnel from every part of the country to foster a spirit of nationalism and skill development.

INS Imphal, named after a city in Northeast India, marks a significant milestone in indigenous shipbuilding. Launched on April 20, 2019, the ship has set a record in its construction and trial phase, showcasing India’s growing expertise in warship manufacturing. The destroyer is equipped with advanced stealth features, sophisticated weaponry, and sensor systems, and is capable of operating under Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical warfare conditions. It boasts a high level of indigenization, reflecting the government’s focus on ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by notable dignitaries, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and other senior officials. Commanded by Captain KK Choudhury, INS Imphal will play a pivotal role in enhancing the Indian Navy’s operational reach and flexibility, safeguarding the nation’s maritime interests and security.

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