INS Imphal, the new guided-missile destroyer.
The first warship to be christened after a city in the northeast, the guided-missile destroyer Imphal, was "launched" into water at the Mazagon Docks in Mumbai on Saturday. Though the ship's launch weight was 3,037-tonne, it will go up to a massive 7,300-tonne once it is ready for commissioning with all its weapon systems, including BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, as well as sensors in another three to four years
Once it is commissioned as INS Imphal, after its two earlier underconstruction sister warships Visakhapatnam and Mormugao launched in 2015-2016, it will join the ranks of operational destroyers named INS Delhi, INS Mumbai, INS Mysore, INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Chennai. "The ongoing tradition is to name indigenously-constructed destroyers, which are second only to aircraft carriers in size and combat power, after a state capital or big city," said an officer.
Similarly, the slightly smaller frigates are named after mountain ranges, rivers or weapons like INS Shivalik, INS Sahaydri and INS Trishul. The corvettes, in turn, are named after smaller personal weapons like INS Kirpan and INS Khanjar.
Imphal, which was launched by Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba's wife Reena in keeping with maritime traditions, is third of the four Visakhapatnam-class missile destroyers being constructed under "Project-15B" at MDL for around Rs 30,000 crore.
"Project-15B warships feature cutting-edge advanced technology, comparable to the best ships of similar class anywhere in the world. Designed indigenously by the Navy's Directorate of Naval Design, each ship spans 163-metre in length and 17.4-metre at beam, with a displacement of 7,300-tonne," said an officer.
"These ships, which can operate two multi-role helicopters each, are propelled by four gas turbines to achieve speed in excess
of 30 knots. The destroyers incorporate new design concepts for improved survivability, sea keeping, stealth and manoeuvrability," he added. The Navy, which currently has 140 warships and 220 aircraft, has 32 warships under construction in domestic shipyards at a total cost of Rs 1.26 lakh crore to replace its aging fleets and plug operational gaps.