Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted the INS Kolkata into the Indian Navy heralding new capabilities in the Indian defence forces. "We are now capable of holding our own in maritime warfare," the prime minister noted.
Here's a little more about the newest entry to the Indian navy fleet:
- INS Kolkata, under the Project 15 Alpha, belongs to the destroyer class and is the first of three ships currently under construction.
- Project 15-A ships are follow-on ships of the successful Project 15 destroyers including INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai, which form the frontline combatants of the Indian Navy.
- The keel of the warship was laid down in September 2003 and the ship was launched in 2006.
- The 6,800-tonne warship has been designed by the Navy's design bureau.
- It has close-in weapon systems and chaffes to provide protection along with its two main guns.
- Propelled by four gas turbines, INS Kolkata is designed to achieve a speed of 30 knots/ph and to help coordinate a task force in exerting sea-control in a multi-threat environment.
- INS Kolkata was constructed at Mazagon Dock, and was handed over to the navy on July 10, 2014 after completing her sea trials.
- INS Kolkata is the lead ship of the Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyers.
- Interestingly, even the weapons and sensors on board are of indigenous make. The ship will boast of a state-of-the-art BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, rocket launchers, twin-tube torpedo launchers, sonar Humsa, EWS Ellora and AK-630 rapid fire guns
- India had already successfully test-fired the 290 km-range BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missile from the warship, on June 9, off the coast of Karwar in Karnataka. Read more on that here
- However, the warship is being lauched without its main air defence weapon which protects the vessel from aerial attacks. Long Range-Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM) is under development in a joint venture between India and Israel and is expected to complete its trials in September and would then be available for being deployed on board the warship.
- She will be a part of the Kolkata Class destroyers of the Indian Navy which will include follow-on ships by the name of INS Kochin and INS Chennai respectively.
- The ship, though, has already faced some tragedy. It suffered a mishap during the trial phase that resulted in the death a Navy officer. The incident took place when the pressure of the hydraulic tank of the Arihant class submarine was being tested and the tank's lid fell on the workers at Building-5 of the shipbuilding center. Read more
Nevertheless, being wholly constructed in the country, the ship provides credence to India's defense capabilities in an geo-politically unstable world. "We import everything now. But we will now research and invent. And what we import today to protect and keep us safe, there will come a time when we shall export the same technology. That will be the aim of this government," Modi stated during the launch.
In June, as well, the prime minister had dedicated the country's largest warship INS Vikramaditya to the country, reiterating his government's priority to defence.