Commissioning the largest ever indigenous warship, INS Kolkata into the Indian Navy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it will deter anyone from casting their ‘evil eye on India’. Mr. Modi was speaking at the commissioning ceremony at the Navy dockyard in Mumbai on Saturday.
“INS Kolkata is an example of our military might, showcasing our capabilities to the world. In today’s world fighting and winning wars is less difficult. To ensure that there is no war, one has to have a modernized and powerful military coupled with state of the art weaponry so that no one can dare cast their evil eye on us,” Mr. Modi said.
Emphasizing the need to strengthen coastal security given India’s vast coastline, Mr. Modi said, “INS Kolkata is a floating technology marvel. It will provide security to those who use the sea route to carry out trade activities,”
Referring to the government’s decision to allow 49 percent FDI in defence sector, the PM said it was undertaken with a two-fold agenda- to make India self reliant and to export defence equipment to the rest of the world.
“We have invited global players to set up their facilities here, so that we do not have to import every little defense hardware. There will come a day when we would be in the position to export the same equipment we are importing now. This will also be beneficial to the Indian economy,” he added.
The ceremony was also attended by the Defense minister, Mr. Arun Jaitley, the governor of Maharashtra Mr. K Sankaranarayanan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan and also many other serving and retired defense personnel.
Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day but it is our Armed Forces that are protecting the free India: PM >@narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) >August 16, 2014
The entire nation may not be in uniform but we stand firmly behind you & are proud of you: PM to Armed Forces of India— PMO India (@PMOIndia) >August 16, 2014
INS Kolkata is a part of the Project 15 A class comprising of three ships namely - Kolkata , Kochi and Chennai, which are the first stealth indigenous destroyers being built in India. The ship is164 meters wide and weighs 7500 tons. It has capacity of 30 officers and 330 sailors.
INS Kolkata is the first Indian Naval destroyer to have Multi Functional conformal array surveillance radar - the MF- Star to provide target data to Long Range Surface to Air Missile System (LRSAM). The MFR and LRSAM system is a joint venture of DRDO and Israel aerospace industries ltd. She is also equipped with the advanced with anti-ship surface to surface missiles - the Brahmos.
I feel the commissioning of INS Kolkata gives an impetus to our Navy: Defence Minister >@arunjaitley— PMO India (@PMOIndia) >August 16, 2014
The keel of Kolkata was laid on 26 September, 2003 and the ship was ‘launched’ on into waters on March 30th, 2006. However her commissioning was delayed for around four years owing to technical problems that surfaced during the sea trials.
INS Kolkata also faces a few other challenges. The active electronic tower array sonar (ATAS) is submerged and towed and emits low frequency waves. This may hinder its ability to effectively detect enemy submarines, naval sources said. Also its Israel- built long-range surface to air missile - the Barak NG is still being developed.
in March 2014, Commander Kuntal Wadhwa, died due to asphyxiation after a carbon dioxide leak in the vessel during a sea trial. The accident occurred soon after Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi resigned following a series of accidents on naval vessels.