Project-15B

• The Defence Minister participated in the commissioning ceremony of the first Project-15B class stealth guided-missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam.

• The remaining three ships — Mormugao, Imphal and Surat — are scheduled to be commissioned one per year from 2022 to 2024.

Project 15B Guided Missile Destroyers:

• The Project 15B class of guided-missile destroyers, an improved variant of the Kolkata-class destroyers, are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) for the Indian Navy.

• The Project 15B ships retain the hull design of the Kolkata-class destroyers but will incorporate advanced stealth features and a high degree of automation. The vessels will offer improved survivability, sea keeping and high manoeuvrability.

• The sleek hull design in combination with radar transparent deck fittings will make the vessels difficult to detect.

• The ship has enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section (RCS) and is packed with sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors such as BrahMos Surface-to-Surface missiles and Barak-8 Surface-to-Air missiles.

• With a state-of-the-art sensor package and weapons, the destroyers will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced guided-missile destroyers.

Need for P-15B:

• In the current geopolitical environment, the Indian Navy’s obligations to protect a massive coastline of 7516 kilometres and around 1100 offshore islands, as well as a 2.01 million square kilometre Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), have been increased.

• Destroyers of the P-15B class will play a key role in the Indo-Pacific’s oceans, making the Indian Navy a formidable force.

• The guided-missile destroyers are used for a variety of missions, including escort duty with the Carrier Battle Group to protect the Naval fleet from attacks from the air, sea, and land.

• With the changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region, Project 15b will augment the Indian Navy’s mobility, reach and flexibility towards the accomplishment of its tasks and goals

• The carrier will increase our reach from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean.

• India’s interests are directly linked with the Indian Ocean and the region is crucial for the world economy and challenges such as piracy, terrorism, illegal smuggling of arms and narcotics, human trafficking, illegal fishing and damage to the environment are equally responsible for affecting the maritime domain.

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Mains Paper 3: Defence and Security

Prelims level: Project-15B

Mains level: Indigenization of technology and developing new technology

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