On December 18, 2022, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Mormugao (D67), the second of four “Visakhapatnam”-class destroyers, also known as the “Project 15B” class of stealth guided-missile destroyers, was commissioned at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- The Naval Ensign was hoisted onboard for the first time at the commissioning ceremony, which was held in the presence of Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MOD).
INS Mormugao was launched by former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar (late) on September 17, 2016.
- It underwent sea trials on December 19, 2021, when Goa commemorated 60 years of independence from Portuguese rule.
Goa Liberation Day is observed annually on December 19, to commemorate the armed forces operation known as “Operation Vijay,” which was launched in 1961 in an effort to liberate the state by defeating the Portuguese.
INS Mormugao: India’s Significant Progress in Warship Building Capabilities
i.The INS Mormugao is named after Mormugao, a historic port city in Goa on the west coast.
ii.It was built by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), a Mumbai-based company, and was indigenously designed by the Warship Design Bureau, an in-house organisation of the Indian Navy.
- It is an embodiment of India’s growing indigenous defence production capabilities, with over 75% indigenous components.
- The Indian Navy has thus transitioned from a ” Buyers Navy to a Builders Navy”.
iii.With its multi-dimensional combat capabilities, the warship will be a component of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet.
INS Mormugao: Specifications & Weaponry
i.The INS Mormugao is 163 metres long, 17 metres wide, can carry 7,400 tonnes, and has a crew of roughly 300 personnel.
- It is propelled by four powerful gas turbines in a “Combined Gas and Gas” (COGAG) configuration, capable of exceeding 30 knots (55 km/h) and having a maximum range of 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km).
ii.It is fully equipped with advanced, cutting-edge weapons and sensors, including surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) and surface-to-air missiles (SAM).
- It has armaments including the 70-km Medium-Range Surface-To-Air Missile (MRSAM) system and the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missiles, whose range is being extended from 290 km to 450 km.
- It has a modern surveillance radar that transmits target data to the gunnery weapon systems.
- The ship has improved stealth capabilities, which minimizes its radar cross section.
iii.Its Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities are provided by indigenously developed rocket launchers, torpedo launchers, and ASW helicopters.
- It can operate two multi-role helicopters: The Sea King and the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
iv.The ship is equipped with a Total Atmosphere Control System (TACS) to fight under nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare scenarios.
v.All the major weapons and sensors have been developed and manufactured in India, either directly by Indian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) or through strategic alliances and the transfer of technology (ToT) with reputable global OEMs.
Project 15B (P15B)
i.In January 2011, under Project 15B with a total cost of Rs. 35,800 crore, a contract for four guided missile destroyers, that are more advanced than those of the Kolkata class (Project 15A) was signed.
- In November 2021, the INS Visakhapatnam (Pennant D66), the lead ship of P15B, was commissioned into the Indian Navy.
ii.The four ships of Project 15B were to be named after four significant cities across the nation: Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, and Surat.
- The four ships of Project 15B were designed by the Warship Design Bureau, Indian Navy’s in-house warship design body, and built by MDL in Mumbai.
iii.A ship’s “class” refers to a group of vessels with similar tonnage, usage, capabilities, and weaponry.
i.Under “Project 15A,” the Indian Navy has commissioned 3 guided missile destroyers of the Kolkata class—INS Kolkata, INS Kochi, and INS Chennai—over the last decade.
- These ships were a stride forward of their predecessors, the Delhi class of ships—INS Delhi, INS Mysore, and INS Mumbai.
ii.These ships were all built by MDL, one of India’s most significant Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
Significance, Vision & Aim
i.Given the continually changing power dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), INS Mormugao’s all-domain capability will enhance the Indian Navy’s mobility, reach, and flexibility to perform any mission or task.
ii.It depicts India’s rising ability to be a First Responder and Preferred Security Partner in the IOR.
Note: The Indian economy is one of the top 5 in the world, and experts predict that it will be one of the top 3 in 2027.
Recent Related News:
In September 2022, Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi commissioned India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi, Kerala.
He also unveiled the new Naval Ensign “Nishaan” showcasing Indian maritime heritage. He dedicated the new ensign to Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Chief Minister (CM) – Dr Pramod Sawant
Governor – PS Sreedharan Pillai
Zoological Park – Bondla Zoological Park
Airport – Goa International Airport; Mormagao Port