In a significant development for the Indian Navy, the state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyer, Yard 12706 (Imphal), has been officially transferred to Indian Navy on October 20, 2023. This momentous occassion marks a major milestone in India’s indegenous shipbuilding capabilities, enahncing its maritime strength in the Indian Ocean region.
What is Imphal or Yard 12706?
Imphal is the third vessel of Project 15B that was built at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). The Project is a follow-on of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers commissioned in the last decade. Imphal follows in the wake of her predecessors Indian Naval Ships Visakhapatnam and Mormugao commissioned in the past two years.
Imphal which is designed by the Indian Navy’s Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders stands as a symbol of India’s prowess in indigenous shipbuilding. With a displacement of 7,400 tons and an overall length of 164 meters, this guided missile destroyer boasts advanced weaponry and cutting-edge sensors, including surface-to-air missiles and torpedoes.
Impressive Performance of Imphal
Imphal, powered by a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion system featuring four gas turbines, can achieve speeds exceeding 30 knots (56 km/h). This remarkable speed and agility make the destroyer a formidable presence on the high seas, capable of swiftly responding to any situation.
High Indigenous Content
The Imphal boasts of a high indigenous content of approximately 75%. This includes Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (BEL, Bangalore), BrahMos Surface-to-Surface Missiles (BrahMos Aerospace, New Delhi), Indigenous Torpedo Tube Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai), Anti-Submarine Indigenous Rocket Launchers (Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai) and 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (BHEL, Haridwar). This reliance on indigenous technology showcases India’s ability to produce world-class military equipment.
A Remarkable Journey to Delivery
The keel for the Imphal was laid on 19 May, 2017 and was launched into water on 20 April, 2019. Maiden sea trials commenced on 28 April, 2023, and, ever since, has undergone a comprehensive schedule of trials in harbour and at sea, leading up to its delivery within a record timeframe of only six months. The time taken to build Imphal and for her trials is the shortest for any indigenous destroyer.
A Symbol of ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’
The delivery of Imphal is an affirmation of the Indian Government’s commitment to ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat,’ which means to ‘self-reliant India.’ The ship’s induction into the Indian Navy is the result of collaborative efforts by numerous stakeholders, showcasing India’s capability to produce cutting-edge military assets domestically.