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24 November – MISSILE DESTROYER

In a boost to indigenization, the Indian Navy will commission a guided-missile destroyer and a Kalvari-class submarine. These inductions will also add lethality to maritime prowess of the country at a time when China is flexing its muscle in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific regions.

The Navy has embarked on a long term plan for building warships and submarines within the country and at present nearly 40 such platforms are under various stages of construction in Indian shipyards.

The destroyer ‘Visakhapatnam’ was commissioned on November 21 while submarine Vela was be inducted into the force on November 25.  The two ceremonies took place in Mumbai with Defence Minister commissioning Visakhapatnam.

The public sector  Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited(MDL) has built both the ships. The induction ceremonies will be held at the naval dockyardin Mumbai.

. The commissioning of Visakhapatnam has reaffirmed India’s presenceamongst an elite group of nations with capability to design and buildadvanced warships.
. Apart from myriad indigenous equipment in the ‘float’ and’move’ categories, the destroyer is also installed with many majorindigenous weapons such as indigenous medium-range surface-to-airmissile systems developed by Bharat Electronics Ltd, surface-to-surfacemissiles by Brahmos Aerospace and torpedo tubes and launchers by Larsen and Toubro.
. The overall indigenous content of the project is approximately 75 per cent.
. The ship weighs 7,500 tonnes, 163metres in length and 17 metres in width. It has a speed of 30 knots.
. Vela is the fourth submarine of the Kalvari class. Submarine building is a sophisticated exercise involving placing small components sequentially and logically inside the submarine as the space within is extremely constricted.
. Very few countries possess this ability in their industrial capacity. India has proven its capability to build our own submarines for thepast 25 years.
. At present, India has 15 conventional submarines besides two nuclear powered submarines Arihant and Chakra. While Arihant was designed and built indigenously, India leased Chakra for ten years from Russia two years back. Moreover, three more Arihant class submarines are now under various stages of construction.
. Kalvari class submarines are part of the Scorpene submarine project where in these submarines are built in collaboration with France. The contract is for six submarines.

(GS Paper-3/ Science and Technology/ Defense Technology)

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