On November 28, 2023, the Raksha Mantri, Shri Rajnath Singh, unveiled the crest of Yard 12706 (Imphal), marking a significant milestone in the development of the third Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyer. The ceremony, held in New Delhi and attended by Manipur Chief Minister Shri N Biren Singh, paid homage to the people of Manipur for their sacrifices during India’s quest for independence, sovereignty, and security.
The newly revealed crest of the Imphal features the iconic Kangla Palace on the left and ‘Kangla-Sa’ on the right. The Kangla Palace, a historic and archaeological gem in Manipur, served as the traditional seat of the region’s past kingdom. Meanwhile, the mythical creature ‘Kangla-Sa,’ with a dragon’s head and a lion’s body, symbolizes the guardian and protector of Manipuri people and is also the state emblem of Manipur.
Crafted by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in Mumbai, the Imphal stands as a testament to indigenous shipbuilding prowess and ranks among the world’s most technologically advanced warships. Delivered to the Indian Navy on October 20, 2023, this guided missile destroyer, with a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164 meters, showcases state-of-the-art weaponry and sensors, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes. Powered by Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion, the Imphal boasts speeds exceeding 30 knots (56 km/hr).
Highlighting its high indigenous content of approximately 75%, the ship incorporates cutting-edge components such as Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles from BEL, Bangalore, BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles from BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi, Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers and Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers from Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai, and a 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount from BHEL, Haridwar.
The keel of the Imphal was laid on May 19, 2017, and it was launched into the water on April 20, 2019. Following its maiden sea trials on April 28, 2023, the ship underwent a comprehensive schedule of trials both in harbor and at sea, leading to its remarkable delivery within a record time-frame of six months on October 20, 2023.
As part of pre-commissioning trials, the Imphal recently successfully fired an Extended Range BrahMos missile, showcasing its advanced capabilities. The swift construction and trials, making it the fastest for any indigenous destroyer, underscore the commitment to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).
In accordance with maritime tradition, the Indian Navy takes pride in naming its ships after prominent cities, mountain ranges, rivers, ponds, and islands. The decision to name this cutting-edge warship after the historic city of Imphal, the first capital warship named after a city in the North-Eastern region, received approval from the President on April 16, 2019.
The ceremony was attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar, and officials from the Ministry of Defence and the Manipur government, adding to the significance of this momentous occasion.