IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


30th November, 2023 Defence


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  • The crest of Yard 12706 (Imphal), the third amongst the four Project 15B stealth guided missile destroyers, was unveiled by Defence Minister.


Significance of the Crest

The crest design symbolizes:

  • Kangla Palace: Located on the left side of the crest, the Kangla Palace holds historical and archaeological importance in Manipur's heritage. It served as the traditional seat of the past kingdom.
  • 'Kangla-Sa': Positioned on the right side of the crest, 'Kangla-Sa' represents a mythical being from Manipur's history. It symbolizes the guardian or protector of the people and serves as the state emblem of Manipur.

Imphal - Technologically Advanced Destroyer

  • Specifications: Imphal is a guided missile destroyer with a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164 meters. It is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship missiles, and torpedoes.
  • Propulsion: Powered by Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion, Imphal can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots (56 km/hr).

Indigenous Content and Manufacturing

  • High Indigenous Content: Approximately 75% of the ship consists of indigenous components, showcasing India's technological capabilities in defense manufacturing.
  • Components: These indigenous components include Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles, BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles, Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers, Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers, and a 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount, among others.

Construction and Trials

  • Construction Timeline: Imphal's keel was laid on May 19, 2017, and it was launched into water on April 20, 2019.
  • Sea Trials: The ship commenced its maiden sea trials on April 28, 2023, undergoing comprehensive trials at sea and in harbor before its delivery to the Indian Navy on October 20, 2023.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Initiative

  • Affirmation of Self-reliance: Imphal's construction, trials, and subsequent delivery underscore India's commitment to the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' initiative, emphasizing self-reliance and indigenous capabilities in defense manufacturing.

Naming Tradition and Recognition

  • Historic Naming: Imphal is the first capital warship named after a city in the North-Eastern region. The ship's naming approval was granted by the President on April 16, 2019.
  • Recognition: This dedication of the Imphal ship is a tribute to Manipur's history and culture while affirming India's advancements in indigenous shipbuilding and modernizing its naval fleet.

Visakhapatnam-class Destroyers (P-15B)

  • The Visakhapatnam-class destroyers, also known as the P-15B or P-15 Bravo class, represent an enhanced iteration of the Kolkata class in the Indian Navy's fleet.

Design and Development:

  • Designed by Warship Design Bureau (WDB): Crafted by the Warship Design Bureau, the P-15B is a result of India's indigenous efforts in shipbuilding, sharing lineage with the Kolkata-class destroyers, INS Vikrant (aircraft carrier), and Arihant-class submarines.
  • Project Objective: The primary goal was to enhance the Kolkata-class destroyers' features with incremental alterations, focusing on minimizing development time and costs while maximizing capabilities.
  • Design Completion: The WDB finalized the design plans for the four destroyers by mid-2013.

Distinct Features of P-15B:

  • Different bridge layout for reduced radar cross-section (RCS) and improved resilience.
  • Utilizes a "rail-less" helicopter traversing system for securing helicopters in adverse weather.
  • Sonar equipment placed at the bow instead of the hull.
  • Incorporates a network-centric layout featuring Ship Data Network (SDN), Automatic Power Management System (APMS), and Combat Management System (CMS).

Survivability and Reliability:

  • Equipped with a "Total Atmosphere Control System" (TAC) to operate in nuclear fallout zones.
  • High indigenous content (72%) compared to previous destroyer classes.
  • Multiple fire zones, battle damage control systems, and distributional power systems for enhanced survivability.
  • Ergonomically designed accommodations ensuring crew comfort based on modular concepts.

Naming Tradition:

  • Following naval traditions, the destroyers were named after significant Indian cities linked to historical and cultural heritage: Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, and Surat.
  • INS Imphal and INS Mormugao were the first two destroyers named after cities from Northeastern India and Goa, respectively.

Armament and Capabilities:

Anti-Surface Warfare:

  • Equipped with sixteen BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles known for their extreme versatility and Mach 3 speeds.
  • Features one OTO Melara 76mm naval gun for surface warfare.

Anti-Air Warfare:

  • Incorporates thirty-two Barak 8ER surface-to-air missiles for aerial threat neutralization.
  • Utilizes four AK-630M close-in weapon systems (CIWS) for point defense.

Anti-Submarine Warfare:

  • Features twin torpedo launchers for launching heavyweight torpedoes like Varunastra.
  • Incorporates two RBU-6000 (RPK-8) anti-submarine rocket launchers capable of deep-sea operations.

Aviation Facilities:

  • Equipped with a flight deck and an enclosed aviation hangar for two medium-sized helicopters.
  • Employs a "rail-less" helicopter traversing system for adverse weather conditions at sea.

Defensive Capabilities:

  • Features Kavach anti-missile decoy systems for countering short-range aerial threats.

Operational History:

  • INS Visakhapatnam commissioned on November 21, 2021.
  • Successfully test-fired upgraded BrahMos missiles in January and February 2022.
  • Participated in the 12th edition of the Indian Navy's "Presidential Fleet Review" in February 2022.
  • INS Mormugao conducted successful BrahMos Supersonic cruise missile tests in May 2023.


This unveiling ceremony reflects India's strides in indigenous shipbuilding, technological advancements, and commitment to self-reliance in defense manufacturing while honoring the cultural heritage of Manipur.


Q. Which of the following statements regarding INS Imphal, a notable naval vessel, is not correct?

A) INS Imphal belongs to the Visakhapatnam-class destroyers, also known as P-15A.

B) It was launched into water in 2019.

C) It features a primary armament of BrahMos anti-ship cruise missiles.

D) INS Imphal was the first capital warship named after a city from the North-Eastern region, and it was commissioned in October 2023.

Answer: A)