Introducing The Navy’s New Guided Missile Destroyer, INS Mormugao

INS Mormugao (Pennant D67), which was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDSL), became part of the Indian Navy on Sunday. It is the second Project 15B stealth-guided missile destroyer. The ship was put into service a day before the Goa Liberation Day celebrations. It was named after a key port in Goa.

Project 15B

In the last ten years, the Indian Navy has put into service the INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, and INS Chennai, which are all guided missile destroyers of the Kolkata class. These ships were built as part of a project called 15A. The INS Delhi, INS Mysore, and INS Mumbai, which came before them in the Delhi class, were a step ahead of these ships.

One of the most important Defense PSUs in the country, MDSL, made all of these ships. A ship’s “class” is a group of ships with the same size, purpose, abilities, and weapons.

In January 2011, a deal was made for four guided missile destroyers that are better than the Kolkata class. This was Project 15B, and the first ship, INS Visakhapatnam (Pennant D66), joined the Navy in November 2021.

The four ships of Project 15B were to be named after four major cities in India: Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, and Surat. They were to be designed by the Warship Design Bureau, which is part of the Indian Navy’s in-house ship design team, and built by MDSL in Mumbai. In this case, the INS Visakhapatnam is the lead ship for this class.

The construction

Mormugao (Yard 12705) had its keel laid in June 2015, and Manohar Parrikar, who was Defence Minister at the time, launched the ship in September 2016. The Visakhapatnam class has kept a lot of the same parts from the Kolkata class, like the shape of the hull, the way it moves, most of the equipment on the platform, and the main weapons and sensors.

But it has better stealth technology and a higher level of automation. The boats are harder to find because the hulls are smoother and the deck fittings can’t be seen by radar.

Y12705, which is now called INS Mormugao, finished her basin trials on December 15, 2021. On December 19, 2021, Goa celebrated 60 years since it was freed from Portuguese rule. About 75% of the ship is made of materials from its own country.

Specifications and weaponry

The INS Mormugao and the other three ships in its class are each 163 metres long and 17.4 metres wide, and they can carry 7,300 tonnes of cargo. In comparison, the first Indian-made aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, was just put into service. It is 262 metres long, 62 metres wide, and can carry around 43,000 tonnes when it is full.

The INS Mormugao and other ships in its class are run by a crew of 350. There are 50 officers and 250 sailors on the crew. Compared to its predecessor classes, this class’s living and working spaces are more comfortable and easy to use.

The Visakhapatnam class destroyers have multiple fire zones, battle damage control systems, and distributional power systems to make them safer and more reliable in extreme operational and conflict situations.

They have a total atmospheric control system (TACS) that protects the crew from chemical, biological, and nuclear threats. They also have a state-of-the-art combat management system that can use analytical tools to evaluate threats and make a tactical picture that includes all of the resources on board. The data from the sensors and weapons systems on the warships are sent through a safe network.

The ship’s weapons are Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles that can be launched vertically and BrahMos surface-to-surface cruise missiles that can hit land and sea-based targets from far away. On the bow deck in front, there is a 127 mm main gun and four 30 mm AK-630 guns for close-point defence.

The destroyer will also be armed with RBU-6000 rocket launchers and 533 mm torpedo launchers that were made in India. It can run either the Sea King or the HAL Dhruv, which are both multi-role helicopters. The ship also has a hangar and a way for helicopters to move around without rails.

Four gas turbines are used in the “combined gas and gas” (COGAG) configuration. The ship’s propulsion system lets it go as fast as 30 knots (55 km/h) and have a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km).

Strategic significance

Technically, destroyers are a type of warship that is fast, manoeuvrable, and has a longer range. They are used to protect larger ships in a fleet or a carrier battle group, which is also called a carrier strike group.

Modern destroyers are fast, sleek, and hard to spot. Their main job is to defend fleets and carrier battle groups from short-range attacks from the air, sea, and land. Aside from fighting on the surface, guided missile destroyers can also fight against aircraft and submarines.

Guided missile destroyers are important in many types of naval operations, especially offensive ones, because they can move quickly, turn, and attack.

In addition to new features, the Visakhapatnam class takes into account what users said about the Kolkata class. Its state-of-the-art stealth makes it look like a very small ship on radar, and its very high indigenous component gives it a strategic advantage.

Officials say that the Visakhapatnam class is one of the most advanced ships in the Indian Navy, and that it can be used as an offensive platform even when it is not part of a large formation. The Visakhapatnam class is a key part of “network-centric warfare” because it has new sensors and ways to talk to other ships.

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