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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

In the ever-evolving landscape of naval warfare, India’s Next-Generation Destroyer (NGD), colloquially referred to as Project 18, is emerging as a symbol of the nation’s commitment to maritime security and technological advancement.

As of now, the NGD program is in the conceptual studies phase, with tantalizing details hinting at its potential. Commander PR Hari, IN (Retd.), who serves as the Chairman and Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), shed light on the program’s timeline. In a recent media interview, he indicated that the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the NGD program might be issued around 2026-27.

Two prominent Indian state-owned shipyards, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), are set to vie for the honour of constructing the NGD.

One of the most captivating aspects of the NGD is its envisioned Vertical Launch System (VLS) configuration. A promotional video released last year provided a graphical representation of a possible NGD concept, offering a glimpse into the warship’s striking design. The NGD’s VLS setup is canister-based and incredibly versatile. It comprises a staggering 144 missile cells, organized in a three 6×4 VLS 2 layout, positioned at both the bow and aft sections of the vessel.

Additionally, the NGD design showcases eight slant launchers situated behind the main radar. These launchers are believed to be designated for the formidable BrahMos-2 anti-ship missile.

In terms of size and capabilities, the NGD is projected to be a heavyweight contender, weighing approximately 13,000 standard tonnes. To put this in perspective, it’s comparable to the Chinese Type 055 destroyer, which boasts 112 VLS cells, and even the U.S. Navy’s Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, renowned for its 122 VLS cells. This design places the NGD in the league of some of the world’s most formidable naval vessels, affirming India’s intent to assert itself as a dominant maritime power.

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