Indian Navy Receives Imphal: A Landmark Achievement in Indigenous Shipbuilding

Indian Navy Receives Imphal: A Landmark Achievement in Indigenous Shipbuilding
Indian Navy Receives Imphal: A Landmark Achievement in Indigenous Shipbuilding

On October 20, 2023, the Indian Navy celebrated a major milestone as the state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyer, Yard 12706, better known as Imphal, was officially transferred to its naval fleet. This momentous occasion underscores India’s growing prowess in indigenous shipbuilding, further fortifying its maritime presence in the Indian Ocean.

Imphal stands as the third vessel of Project 15B, crafted at the renowned Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). This project is a natural progression from the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers commissioned in the previous decade. Imphal follows in the wake of her predecessors, Indian Naval Ships Visakhapatnam and Mormugao, both commissioned within the past two years.

Designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, Imphal serves as a testament to India’s capabilities in indigenous shipbuilding. With a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164 meters, this guided missile destroyer boasts advanced weaponry and cutting-edge sensors, including surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes.

Imphal is powered by a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion system, featuring four gas turbines, enabling it to achieve speeds exceeding 30 knots (56 km/h). This remarkable speed and agility establish the destroyer as a formidable presence on the high seas, capable of swift responses to any situation.

The vessel boasts a high indigenous content of approximately 75%, including Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (manufactured by BEL, Bangalore), BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles (by BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi), Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers (crafted by Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai), Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers (also by Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai), and a 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (provided by BHEL, Haridwar). This reliance on indigenous technology underscores India’s capability to produce world-class military equipment.

The keel for Imphal was laid on May 19, 2017, and the vessel was launched into the water on April 20, 2019. Maiden sea trials commenced on April 28, 2023, and, since then, it has undergone an extensive schedule of trials both in harbor and at sea, leading to its delivery within a record timeframe of only six months. The construction and trials timeline for Imphal stands as the shortest for any indigenous destroyer.

The delivery of Imphal affirms the Indian Government’s commitment to ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat,’ which translates to ‘self-reliant India.’ The ship’s induction into the Indian Navy represents a collaborative effort among numerous stakeholders, showcasing India’s capability to domestically produce cutting-edge military assets.