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India Navy commissions 3rd Visakhapatnam-class destroyer INS Imphal.

| 2023

On December 26, 2023, the Indian Navy commissioned the Visakhapatnam-class stealth-guided missile destroyer INS Imphal in Mumbai. This event was presided over by India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Indian Navy commissioned the INS Imphal, a Visakhapatnam-class stealth-guided missile destroyer. (Picture source: Indian Navy)

The INS Imphal is the first Indian warship to be named after a city in the northeastern region, symbolizing the importance of this area for the Indian government. Its construction by Mazagon Dock Limited reflects India's progress toward self-reliance in defense technology, with approximately 75% of its components being indigenously sourced.

The INS Imphal has a displacement of 7,400 tonnes, measures 163 meters in length, and has a beam of 17.4 meters with a draft of 6.5 meters. Its combined gas and gas (COGAG) propulsion system allows it to achieve speeds exceeding 30 knots (56 km/h), with a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 18 knots. The ship can remain at sea for 45 days without resupply and can accommodate a crew of 300.

The INS Imphal is equipped with various radar and sonar systems for surveillance and detection operations. These include the IAI EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA radar, the BEL RAWL-02/LW-08 air search radar, and active/passive BEL HUMSA-NG sonar systems, along with an active towed array sonar system named "Nagin".

The ship features a DRDO "Shakti" electronic warfare suite, which includes ESM/ECM systems and a "Radar Finger Printing System" (RFPS), as well as the COMINT suite "Nayan". For torpedo defense, it is equipped with Kavach decoy launchers and Maareech torpedo countermeasure systems.

The INS Imphal's armament consists of vertical launch systems (VLS) for Barak 8 surface-to-air and BrahMos anti-ship missiles, torpedo tubes, RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, a 76 mm OTO Melara naval gun, AK-630M CIWS, and stabilized 12.7 mm OFT machine guns.

The destroyer can accommodate two multi-role helicopters, with an enclosed hangar and a flight deck capable of supporting aircraft like the HAL Dhruv or Sea King Mk. 42B. It carries the pennant number D68 and was acquired at a cost of approximately 29,700 crore rupees, or about 3.5 million USD.

Defence Minister Singh emphasized the significance of the INS Imphal in strengthening India's maritime power, especially in the Indo-Pacific region. He highlighted the government's focus on modernizing all three branches of the armed forces, underlining the strategic necessity of protecting India's maritime trade routes.

The construction of the INS Imphal set a record in terms of duration, with the ship being launched in 2019, just two years after the keel was laid, and completing sea trials in less than six months. However, it remains to be hoped that this speed has not been achieved at the expense of quality.

The commissioning of the INS Imphal is a proud moment for India, underscoring its growing status as a maritime power and its commitment to securing its strategic interests through indigenous capabilities. The Indo-Pacific is a strategically important region, and India does not wish to be outpaced by potential rivals like China.

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