New Delhi, 01 October 2015
INS Kochi commissioned
India built Naval warship INS Kochi, was commissioned by defence
minister Manohar Parrikar at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. The quality of the INS Kochi is
good as any foreign ship, the RM said.
INS Kochi is the second ship of the Kolkata-class (Project 15A)
Guided Missile Destroyers. India's defence preparedness just got a
shot in the arm with the commissioning of Indian Navy's latest
stealth guided missile destroyer.
Destroyers are second only to aircraft carriers in projecting raw
combat power on the high seas. Induction of the INS Kochi, the
second of the three Kolkata-class destroyers being built at Mazagaon
Docks (MDL) at Mumbai for over Rs 4,000 crore apiece, will make it
the 10th destroyer in India's combat fleet.
Although conceived as follow-on of the earlier Delhi class, this
ship is vastly superior and has major advancements in weapons and
sensors. The ship incorporates new design concepts for improved
survivability, stealth, sea-keeping and manoeuvrability.
The first of this class, INS Kolkata, was commissioned in August
last year, while the third INS Chennai will be inducted towards
end-2016. There is also the even bigger ongoing Rs 29,644-crore
project to build another four stealth destroyers at MDL, with the
first INS Visakhapatnam slated for delivery in 2018-2019.
With a displacement of 7,500 tons, the majestic ship spanning 164
metres in length and 17 metres at the beam, is propelled by four gas
turbines and designed to achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
INS Kochi is packed with an array of state-of-the-art weapons and
sensors, with a significant indigenous component. The ship has many
lethal weapons to her credit which include the successful fitment of
vertically launched missile system for long distance engagement of
shore and sea-based targets.
The ship is 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
The MF STAR and LR SAM systems are jointly developed by DRDO (
Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Israel Aerospace
Industries Ltd. To protect against incoming air borne and surface
threats, at medium and close in range, the ship has 76 mm and 30 mm
The ship has a complement of about 40 officers and 350 sailors. The
accommodation and living spaces have been designed with special
emphasis on ergonomics and habitability.
Individual crew bunks
It's no wonder the Navy is all excited. "INS Kochi will add more
teeth to the Indian Navy's sword arm in discharging our duty of
safe-guarding maritime interests in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
It further reaffirms our resolve and faith in indigenous
ship-building and the 'Make in India' programme," said CNS Admiral
The Navy, on its part, has plans to become a 200-warship force with
around 600 aircraft and helicopters by 2027 to ensure it can
effectively guard the country's expanding geo-strategic interests in
the backdrop of the IOR emerging as "the world's centre of gravity".
The IOR has over 120 warships at any given time, with China fast
becoming a force to reckon with in the region. China is expanding
its naval footprint mainly to safeguard its energy supplies passing
through the IOR but India can ill-afford to ignore its strategic
"We have to be on guard. India's developmental destiny is strongly
linked to the seas around us. While we do not want competition with
China to turn into conflict in IOR, we have to be ready and keep our
powder dry," said another senior officer.
But while the Navy is doing well with "surface combatants", the
acute shortage of submarines, helicopters and minesweepers continues
to remain a big worry. Take submarines, for instance. The Navy has
just 13 old conventional diesel-electric submarines and one
nuclear-powered boat on lease from Russia.
This when China already has five nuclear and 51 conventional
submarines in its underwater fleet, apart from being close to
inducting five new JIN-class nuclear submarines armed with
long-range ballistic missiles. Pakistan, too, has recently ordered
eight more conventional submarines from China to add to the five it
But the defence ministry is still nowhere close to issuing the
tender for Project-75-India to build six advanced submarines, with
both land-attack cruise missiles and air-independent propulsion for
greater underwater endurance, at a cost of around Rs 80,000 crore.
It will take at least 10 years for the first of these new submarines
to roll out.
The ongoing Rs 23,562 crore project to construct six French Scorpene
submarines at MDL is also running over four years behind schedule,
with the first boat to be now delivered by September 2016 at the
earliest. Moreover, the government is still to resolve the imbroglio
over the proposed Rs 1,800 crore deal to buy 98 heavy-weight
torpedoes for the Scorpenes."Jahi Shatrun Mahabaho" loosely means
"Armed to conquer the enemy" in Sanskrit. It's an apt motto for
guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi, packed with weapons and sensors
as well as advanced stealth features.
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