- India’s sets sight on expanding naval forces to include 170 warships.
- Guided indigenous missile destroyer INS ‘Visakhapatnam’ to be commissioned on 21st November.
- Commissioning of Submarine INS ‘Vela’ scheduled on 25th November.
The Indian Navy’s agenda of turning into a force with 170 warships is underway amidst a few alterations in timelines which are being finalised, said Vice Admiral S.N Ghormade. He also highlighted the complexity of the marine environment and the fact that it elevates when more players are involved.
As a part of the Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP), the Navy has budgeted for a second indigenous aircraft carrier following the INS Vikrant, which was it’s first. The commissioning of the first Project -15B class stealth guided indigenous missile destroyer named ‘Visakhapatnam’ is scheduled for 21st November and that of submarine ‘Vela’ on 25th November as stated by the Navy Vice Chief S.N Ghormade.
He communicated that this is an era where the balance between global and regional power is shifting rapidly with the major ones centred around the Indian Ocean region. To fulfil the emerging requirements and cater to the challenges persistent measures are being taken to intensify the capabilities of the Indian Navy.
Indigenous capacity to construct complex combat platforms is displayed in the commissioning of ‘Visakhapatnam’ and ‘Vela’. The current strength of the Indian Navy is 130 ships. The Navy had initially set a target of 200 ships which got revised to 170 by 2027.
Amendments are being made to revise the timeline owing to the revision of the MCPP which is envisioned to be ready by next year. It will align with the 10-year Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP).
China has been actively expanding its naval forces, commissioning more ships than all other countries alongside broadening its global footprint, particularly in the Indian Ocean region. Vice Admiral Ghormade commented on the ongoing debate between carriers versus submarines and said that each of the platforms played a definitive role in ensuring a balanced force.
The overall expense of Project 15-B stood at Rs. 29,643.74 crores and was signed in January 2011. The final project cost turned out to be Rs. 35,000 crores. The four ships are labelled after major cities across 4 corners of the country – ‘Visakhapatnam’, ‘Mormugao’, ‘Imphal’ and ‘Surat’.
Trials are in progress for the fifth, named ‘Scorpene’ which is anticipated to be commissioned by October 2022. The final submarine, sixth in line, is to be launched by the end of 2023.