Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday commissioned INS Kolkata, India’s largest indigenously built warship, at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.
It is an advanced version, but significantly more versatile, of the Delhi-Class ships – INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai – which will add considerable teeth to India’s maritime warfare capabilities with all-round capabilities against enemy submarines, surface warships, anti-ship missiles and fighter aircraft.
Defence minister Arun Jaitley and chief of naval staff Admiral RK Dhowan were also present during the ceremony
“INS Kolkata is entirely built in India and it is a symbol of self-reliance,” said Modi while addressing the sailors at the commissioning ceremony.
“No country will dare to challenge India after commissioning of INS Kolkata. It will boost the confidence of the armed forces and the inspire youth at the same time,” he added.
The PM said that his government has taken several steps for defence offsets in the budget.
“We dream to make India strong to export defence equipment to the world.”
Defence minister Jaitley said the commissioning of INS Kolkata gives an impetus to the Indian Navy.
“I hope this ship will enhance our navy’s capacity,” said Jaitley.
Constructed by the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), the 6,800-tonne Kolkata-class stealth destroyer has been designed by the Indian Navy’s design bureau.
Its keel was laid down in September 2003 and the ship was launched in March 2006. It is the first of three such ships planned in this class – the other two being Kochi and Chennai.
Fitted with the most advanced weapons systems, including anti-submarine technology, this is the largest stealth destroyer constructed by the MDL and delivered to Indian Navy last month.
Built under the ambitious Project 15-Alpha, this would be one of the most formidable warships of this class and category anywhere in the world.
Its other prominent features include length of 163 m and width of 17.4 m, with a displacement of 7,500 tonnes and two helicopters on board.
Most of the weapons and sensors fitted on board are of indigenous make.
These include the state-of-the-art BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, rocket launchers, torpedo tube launchers, sonar Humsa, EWS Ellora and AK-630 guns, giving it a defence capability to counter threats of enemy sea and air attacks.
The ship has been named after The City of Joy Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal and the biggest metropolis in east India.
The warship’s crest befittingly depicts the landmark Howrah Bridge in the background and a leaping Bengal Tiger in the foreground, both symbolic of the country’s cultural capital Kolkata.
This is Modi’s second visit to Maharashtra in two months. Last month he visited the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai.
(With inputs from IANS)