Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the need for self-reliance in manufacturing defence equipment while commissioning INS Kolkata, India’s largest indigenous built warship, at the Naval Dockyard on Saturday.
India is the world’s largest arms importer, but the government recently cleared a proposal to allow 49% foreign participation in the defence industry, up from a cap of 26%, in a bid to boost local manufacturing and end its dependence on arms imports.
"The indigenous warship is now being handed over to the country and this work will send a message of work and wisdom around the globe," Modi said at the commissioning ceremony.
"We have dream to make India strong enough to export defence equipment in the entire world… If India will be well-equipped with all technologies and arms, no country in the world will dare challenge us," he added.
INS Kolkata 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.
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. Fitted with the most advanced weapons systems, including anti-submarine technology, this is the largest stealth destroyer constructed by the MDL and was delivered to Indian Navy last month.
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.
(With agency inputs)