The Indian Navy’s third indigenous stealth destroyer, Imphal, which is likely to be commissioned later this year, undertook her maiden sea sortie on Friday. The ship, which is classified as Project 15 B Class or the P-15 Bravo class, or simply P-15B, is a class of guided missile destroyers built for the Indian Navy.
Sources in the Indian Navy said that the destroyer incorporates several niche technologies and high indigenous content and is designed in-house by the Navy’s Warship Design Bureau and constructed by Mazagon Dock Ltd. (MDL).
“Imphal will have the unique distinction of being the largest and most advanced destroyer to be ever named after a city from the North-East. Imphal would thus be a befitting symbol of the growing importance and contribution of the North-Eastern region and the state of Manipur towards national security and development,” said sources in Indian Navy.
It may be mentioned here that in 2019, Indian Navy launched its third guided Missile Destroyer Imphal, at Mazgaon Docks as part of its Project 15B, which is aimed at adding state-of-the-art warships to the naval fleet.
Defence sources said that the name of the destroyer, Imphal, was chosen to commemorate the Indian soldiers who fought the 1944 Battle of Imphal and Kohima during the Second World War.
The northeast Indian state of Manipur witnessed hectic action during the World War II when the Japanese armies attempted to destroy the Allied forces at Imphal and invade India, but were driven back into Burma with heavy losses. Together with the simultaneous Battle of Kohima on the road by which the encircled allied forces at Imphal were relieved, the battle of Imphal was the turning point of the Burma campaign, part of the South-East Asian theatre of World War II. Manipur’s capital city Imphal, stands proof of the bloody war between the invading Japanese forces and the allied army.
“Imphal will add significantly to the Indian Navy’s combat capabilities. With the recent commissioning of her predecessor INS Mormugao in December 2022 and the fifth Project 75 submarine INS Vagir in January 2023, commencement of sea trials of Imphal is yet another important milestone in MDL’s continued contribution towards building a strong, modern and self-reliant India.
Imphal has 4 x Kavach decoy launchers, 2 x Maareech torpedo-countermeasure systems, 4 × 8-cell VLS, for a total of 32 Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles for anti-air warfare, 2 x 8-cell VLS, for 16 BrahMos anti-ship missiles for anti-surface warfare, and 4 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes, and 2 × RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers for anti-submarine warfare. Additionally, the vessel has 1 × OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun, 4 x AK-630M CIWS, and 2 x OFT 12.7 mm M2 Stabilized Remote Controlled Gun for gun systems. The warship can can accommodate two multi-role helicopters in its enclosed helicopter hangar and flight deck.