India’s biggest, indigenously-built warship INS Kochi was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Union defence minister Manohar Parikkar on Wednesday morning at the Mumbai dockyard.
Commissioning it, Parikkar described the 7,500-tonne vessel, capable of speeds of more than 30 knots, to be “as good as any foreign ship”, adding that there is renewed enthusiasm among defense production units, PSUs and private sectors.
INS Kochi was built as the second of the three Kolkata Class (Project 15A) Guided Missile Destroyers at the Mazagaon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore, and joined the Indian Navy fleet as its 10th destroyer.
The first of the Kolkata Class destroyers, INS Kolkata was commissioned in August 2014, while the third and final -- INS Chennai -- is due for induction by the end of 2016.
These will be followed by a mega-project of nearly Rs 30,000 crore to construct four stealth destroyers at the Mazgaon Docks.
Designed by the Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design, the ship is christened after the vibrant port city of Kochi.
It is vastly superior, has major advancements in weapons and sensors and incorporates new design concepts for improved survival, stealth, sea-keeping and manoeuvrability.
The warship has many lethal weapons to her credit, including the successful fitment of vertically-launched missile system for long distance engagement of shore and sea-based targets.
It is also one of the few warships of the world and the second in the Indian Navy to have Multi Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar to provide target data to Long-Range-Surface-to-Air-Missile system.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)