Mumbai: The Navy on Thursday added might to its
warship fleet with Elizabeth Antony, the wife of Defence
Minister A K Antony, launching INS Chennai, a guided missile
destroyer, prior to its induction.
INS Chennai, the third destroyer under Project 15 Alpha,
has been built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
The majestic 163-metre long ship had a pontoon assisted
launching, with hundreds of MDL workers and dignitaries,
including Antony and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal
Verma, cheering as the ship was lowered into water here.
Chennai will be fitted with the indigenous supersonic
Brahmos surface-to-surface missile system. The destroyer,
propelled by four gas turbines, is designed to achieve speeds
in excess of 30 knots.
The 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.
Antony said the launching of Chennai marks a major
revolution in technology. "It is heartening that Mazagon Dock
Limited has taken the lead in harnessing cutting edge
technology in fortifying the maritime capabilities of the
country," he said.
When commissioned into the Indian Navy in 2013, the
destroyer would be the most potent vessel with modern weapons
and sensors, along with its predecessors -- Kolkata and Kochi.
"The role of the Navy is continuously evolving and
changing. As the Navy`s mandate increases, it will have to arm
itself with all kinds of vessels," Antony said.
Underlining the need to strengthen coastal and maritime
security, the Defence Minister said that "after 26/11, we have
to be more vigilant and beef up coastal security."
The BrahMos missile system enables the ship to engage
shore based and naval surface targets at long ranges, making
it a lethal platform for strike against enemy targets.
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 being co-developed by DRDO.
The MDL is currently constructing three Shivalik class
stealth frigates and six Scorpene class submarines.