Mumbai: India’s biggest indigenously built warship, INS Kochi, was commissioned to the Indian Navy here on Wednesday by Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar.
Parikkar described the 7,500 tonnes vessel, capable of speeds of 30 knots, to be “as good as any foreign ship”.
INS Kochi has been built as the second in the series of the three Kolkata-Class (Project 15A) Guided Missile Destroyers at the Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai at a cost of Rs.4,000 crore, and joins 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 end-2016.
These will be followed by a mega-project of nearly Rs.30,000 crore to construct four more stealth destroyers at the MDL.
INS Kochi, designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, incorporates major advancements in weapons, sensors and manoeuvring capabilities compared to its forerunner, the Delhi Class.
Spanning 164 metres and 17 metres at the beam, it is powered by four gas turbines which can achieve at least 30 knots speed.
The warship comes armed with a wide range of state-of-the-art weapons like a vertical launch missile system for long distance engagement of shore and sea-based targets.
It is only the second Indian Naval warship to have a Multi-Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR) which provide target data to Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile systems (LR-SAM).
The MF-STAR and LR-SAM have been jointly developed by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.
To protect itself from incoming air-borne or surface attacks at medium and close range, the ship has been fitted with 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount, AK630 Close In Weapon System, BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, indigenous rocket launchers (IRL), indigenous twin-tube torpedo launchers and bow-mounted new generation HUMSA Sonar Dome.
It can also operate two Sea King or Chetak helicopters on board and accommodate 40 officers and 350 sailors.