India has strengthened its already formidable maritime arsenal in the year 2022

From the successful test of the Agni-V missile to the induction of INS Vikrant, the India Armed Forces have made several achievements in the year 2022 to keep its border secured on land, water and air. Amid the India-China clash in Tawang, India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V. The steel installed in INS Vikrant's airbase is indigenously developed by DRDO scientists and produced by Indian companies. Anti-submarine warfare capabilities for INS Mormugao are provided by rocket launchers, torpedo launchers and ASW helicopters developed in-house

New Delhi: Over the past few years, the Ministry of Defence has taken several steps to strengthen the Indian Armed Forces. Similarly, the Year 2022, has proven to be a successful year for the defence sector, as it has taken several bold steps to keep air, water and land secure from the enemy. It has implemented the Agnipath scheme to bring young energy into the defence force and secure the border and has successfully tested the Agni-V missile, which is capable of hitting targets in Beijing, setting an example of a self-sufficient nation in the defence sector. It also inducted INS Vikrant, the largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India in the same year to secure the water region of the nation. Let’s take a look back at the defence sector’s other major accomplishments this year.

Indian Navy Destroyer Warship INS Surat And Frigate INS Udaygiri Launched

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Indian Navy destroyer warship INS Surat and frigate INS Udaygiri at Mazgaon Docks Limited (MDL), Mumbai on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. This was for the first time that the two indigenously built warships were launched concurrently at the MDL. The ship ‘Surat’ is the fourth and last of the stealth destroyers under the ‘Project 15B’ program, whereas Udaygiri is a Project 17A frigate, a program launched by the Indian Navy in 2019 to construct a series of stealth guided-missile frigates.

‘INS Surat’ is the fourth ship of Project 15B destroyers which heralds a significant makeover of the P15A (Kolkata Class) destroyers. It is named after the commercial capital of the state of Gujarat, as Surat city has a rich maritime and shipbuilding history. The ship has been built using the ‘Block construction methodology’, which involves hull construction at two different geographical locations, which was joined together at MDL, Mumbai.

The ship ‘Udaygiri’ is named after a mountain range in the state of Andhra Pradesh and is equipped with advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems. The frigate is the reincarnation of erstwhile ‘Udaygiri’, the Leander-class ASW Frigate, which saw numerous challenging operations in its illustrious service to the country spanning over three decades from February 18, 1976 to August 24, 2007.

Introduction of Agnipath Scheme

Aiming to bring the youths of India into the Armed Forces, the Union Cabinet on June 14, 2022, came up with a new scheme named ‘Agnipath’, which allows patriotic and motivated youth to serve in the Armed Forces for a period of four years. The youth selected under this scheme will be known as Agniveers.

The scheme has been designed to enhance the youthful profile of the Armed Forces and provide a fresh lease of ‘Josh’ and ‘Jazba’ whilst at the same time bringing about a transformational shift towards a more tech-savvy Armed Forces – which is indeed the need of the hour.

Under this scheme, the Agniveers will be awarded various benefits, including a non-contributory life insurance cover of Rs 48 lakh for the duration of their engagement period in the Indian Armed Forces.

INS Vikrant Was Commissioned

The largest ship ever built in the maritime history of India, INS Vikrant was commissioned into the Indian Navy on September 2, 2022. The first indigenous aircraft carrier was formally inducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The warship has been made using indigenous equipment and machinery supplied by India’s major industrial houses as well as over 100 MSMEs and houses state-of-the-art automation features. The indigenous aircraft carrier has been designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house Warship Design Bureau (WDB) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, a public sector shipyard under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways. It is named after her illustrious predecessor, India’s first aircraft carrier, which had played a vital role in the 1971 war.

India’s Third Survey Vessel Was Launched

‘Ikshak’, the third of the four Survey Vessels (Large) (SVL) Project, was launched on November 26, 2022 at Kattupalli, Chennai. Built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE/L&T), the survey vessel made her first contact with the water of the Bay of Bengal at 1040 hrs at the Launch Ceremony graced by the VAdm MA Hampiholi, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command. The word ‘Ikshak’ means Guide and as per the name, the ship contributes towards facilitating safe passage for mariners at sea. The large survey vessel, which is 110 metres long and 16 metres wide, can carry four survey motorboats, an integral helicopter, and a crew of 231 people. The primary role of the ships is to undertake full-scale coastal and deep-water hydrographic surveys of ports and navigational channels.

Agni-V Missile Has Been Successfully Test-Fired

Marking a significant boost to the country’s strategic deterrence, India on December 15, 2022 successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ballistic missile Agni-V, which is capable of neutralising a target at ranges up to 5,000 km. The missile, which was tested from the APJ Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha, is intended to strengthen India’s nuclear deterrence against China, which is known to have missiles with ranges ranging from 12,000 to 15,000 kms, such as the Dongfeng-41. The missile is capable of bringing almost the entire continent of Asia, including the northernmost part of China as well as some regions in Europe under its striking range.

INS Mormugao Was Commissioned

The INS Mormugao, a P15B stealth-guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy at the naval dockyard in Mumbai on December 18, 2022. It was inducted in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Anil Chauhan and other top officials. Her commissioning coincided with the day that ‘Operation Vijay’ was launched in 1961 to free Goa from Portuguese rule. The destroyer has been named after the historic port city of Goa and is said to be equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, besides modern surveillance radar which provides target data to weapon systems. The INS Mormugao was launched in September 2016 and made her first sea sortie on December 19, 2021, coinciding 60 years of Goa’s liberation from Portuguese rule.