Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Thursday said a “hot summer” is on the cards for Indian security forces as more terrorists will be sent across the border.
Mr. Antony was speaking to journalists after the launch of “Chennai,” the third missile destroyer of Project-15A, being built for the Navy at the Mazagon Docks. The ship was launched by Mr. Antony's wife, Elizabeth Antony, in the presence of the Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma and other VIPs.
Mr. Antony warned of infiltration into the country by those against India's interests. They were sending more and more terrorists across the border. However, the Army was ready to face this onslaught. He stressed the use of modern technology and upgradation of skills and training in the armed forces.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Antony said foreign shipyards cannot be depended upon for India's needs, and the country had to build naval ships indigenously, with the involvement of private shipyards. The launching of “Chennai” marks a major revolution in technology, he said.
When commissioned into the Navy in 2013, it will be the most potent vessel with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, along with its predecessors — “Kolkata” and “Kochi.” The role of the Navy is continuously evolving and changing, he said. As the Navy's mandate increases, it will have to arm itself with all kinds of vessels.
Underlining the need to strengthen coastal and maritime security, he said 95 per cent of the country's trade was through sea lanes. “After 26/11 we have to be more vigilant and beef up coastal security. The government will go all out and provide resources for modernisation and purchase of equipment,” he said.
“Chennai,” the third and last Kolkata class warship is a 6,700-tonne destroyer, 163 metres long and 16 metres wide. It is propelled by four gas turbines, and is designed to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots. This indigenously designed ship will have state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, stealth features, an advanced action information system, a comprehensive auxiliary control system, world class modular living spaces, sophisticated power distribution system and a host of other advanced features.
It will be fitted with the indigenous supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface missile system. The ship's air defence capability, designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missiles will revolve around the vertical launch, long range, surface-to-air missile system which is being co-developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. It will have sophisticated multi-function radar systems, apart from indigenously developed twin tube launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers which will boost its anti-submarine capability.