Chennai: Adding more firepower to the country's maritime defence, surveillance and combat capabilities, INS Chennai – the largest-ever warship built in India – was on Monday commissioned to the Indian Navy at a glittering ceremony.
It is beyond doubt that the commissioning of indigenously designed and constructed Kolkata-class guided missile destroyer - the India Naval Ship (INS) `Chennai` - has given a big boot to the Indian Naval Forces.
The addition of INS Chennai to the Indian Navy’s operations and defence capabilities at the sea has also given a major boost to the country's ship-building prowess.
The commissioning of INS Chennai is significant as it comes at a time when tensions with Pakistan and China run high.
By adding INS Chennai to Indian's defence arsenals, the Navy has also send a strong message to its hostile neighbours.
INS Chennai, which was inducted into the naval fleet by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at a glittering function held in Mumbai.
Manufactured by Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai, INS Chennai is among the largest destroyers constructed in India having a length of 164 meter and displacement of over 7,500 tonne.
The ship is a potent platform capable of undertaking a variety of tasks and missions, spanning the full spectrum of maritime warfare. Armed with supersonic surface to surface `BrahMos` missiles and `Barak-8` long range surface to air missiles, the ship possesses formidable prowess of missile technology.
The undersea warfare capable boasts of indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons and sensors, prominently the Hull Mounted Sonar `HUMSA-NG`, Heavyweight Torpedo Tube Launchers, Rocket Launchers and Towed Arrau sonar capability.
For defence against enemy missiles, the ship is fitted with `Kavach` chaff decoy system and for defence against enemy torpedoes, it is fitted with `Mareech` torpedo decoy system, both developed indigenously in India.The ship is designed to carry and operate up to two multi-role helicopters.
The ship is propelled by a powerful Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion plant, consisting of four reversible gas turbines, which enables it to achieve a top speed of over 30 knots (approximately 55 km per hour).
The ship boasts of a very high level of automation with sophisticated digital networks such as ATM-based integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN), Combat Management System (CMS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Auxilliary Control System (ACS).
The ship`s crest depicts the outline of the iconic Fort Saint George at Chennai in the background, a part of the adjacent beach in front, and a sloop on blue and white waves in the background.The crew of the ship abides by the Sanskrit motto `Shatro Sanharaka` meaning `Vanquisher of Enemies`.
The motto epitomises the warrior spirit and strong resolve of the ship and her crew to prevail and succeed in combat. INS Kolkata, the first ship of the class was commissioned on August 16, 2014, and INS Kochi, the second ship of the class was commissioned on September 30, 2015.
The INS Chennai has an overall length of 164 meters and displacement of over 7,500 tons.
“The INS Chennai, and all Kolkata-class destroyers, are actually an improved version of the Delhi-class of warships. The INS Chennai and other guided missile destroyers under Project 15A help the Indian Navy and the country achieve multiple goals,” says Abhijit Singh, Head of Maritime Policy initiative at Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
Ankur Gupta, Vice President-Aerospace and Defence at Ernst Young India agrees that the learnings from the ship-building programme, especially given the Modi government’s Make in India focus, will go a long way in helping indigenous defence manufacturing.
“This (INS Chennai) is the last of the P-15A guided missile destroyers designed by the Indian Navy and built by MDL. Even though the vessels have been delayed by quite some period of time, the learnings and capability buildup due to the program is valuable,” Ankur Gupta was quoted as saying.
“This experience will now propel the vessels under P-15B whose construction has begun and with higher expectations,” he adds.