New Delhi: The Indian Navy has named – for the first time – a warship after a city from the Northeast. INS Imphal was launched on April 20 by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba at Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, Mumbai.
The name was chosen to commemorate the Indian soldiers who fought the 1944 Battle of Imphal and Kohima during the Second World War. A memorial in the middle of Manipur’s capital city Imphal stands proof of the bloody war between the invading Japanese forces and the allied army.
Admiring the move, Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh wrote on social media, “In recognition of Imphal being the major battleground during WW-II, the Indian Navy launched guided missile destroyer INS Imphal. I, on behalf of the people of Manipur, appreciate the Government of India for the befitting recognition.”
INS Imphal is the third ship equipped with a guided missile destroyer, launched as part of the Navy’s Project 15B. The project, being carried out by the Directorate of Naval Design, is aimed at manufacturing indigenous vessels fortified with cutting edge advanced technology.
News reports stated that each ship spans 163 metres in length and 17.4 metres at beam with a dispalcement of 7,400 tonnes. Propelled by four gas turbines, they are built to achieve speed beyond 30 knots.
INS Imphal is likely to be commissioned in 2023 and would join other warships named after Indian cities: INS Mysore, INS Delhi, INS Kolkata, INS Chennai, INS Kochi and INS Mumbai.