It was a different outing for school students aboard INS Kuthar which arrived from Visakhapatnam to dock at the shallow draught berth at V.O. Chidambaranar Port here on Saturday.

The hull of the mighty warship provided a platform for the visitors to have a first-hand knowledge of naval weapons and exercises as they listened to the crew explaining the features and operations of the ship.

The programme was organised as part of the Indian Navy Week celebrations to create an awareness among the public of the working of a warship and the role of navy personnel in tackling threats, said Commander Shantanu Guru of INS Kuthar. The warship was armed with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors for maritime security roles and to tackle war threats, he noted.

A light utility helicopter could be stationed on the armoured ship which had been equipped with super rapid gun mount and four surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 80 km.

The 91.1-metre-long vessel with a displacement of 1,350 tonnes carried sophisticated weapons such as AK-176 single barrel automatic guns which could fire 60 to 90 rounds of ammunition in a minute with a range of 16 km.

The ship could be used as a floating military base to attack airborne targets, surface targets and visible coast targets, Commander Guru said.

Adding strength to the warship was AK-360, a weapon system with a range of 6 km. It could fire 4,000 to 5,000 rounds a minute.

Powered by two diesel engines, the ship could reach a speed of 25 knots. It was designed by Indian naval architects and built at Mazagon Dock in Mumbai and commissioned on June 7, 1990.

The eastern fleet deployed the INS Kuthar in 1998. Till then it was with the western fleet, he added.

The ship is open to the public till 5 p.m. on Sunday.