The Indian Navy has inducted the first domestically built Kolkata-class guided-missile destroyer, INS Kolkata, at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai, India.
Built by Mazgaon Dock (MDL) under the 15-Alpha series project, the 6,800t anti-submarine warfare (ASW) vessel has successfully completed extensive sea trials and tests.
Speaking during the commissioning of the vessel, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "Fighting a war and winning it has now become less difficult these days.
"But a modern military, armed with state-of-the-art weaponry, alone is a guarantee against war. When we are capable, no one can dare challenge us.
"The warship is a symbol of self-reliance."
The new 164m-long, 18m-wide INS Kolkata is powered by a combined gas and gas (COGAG) propulsion system, comprising four powerful reversible gas turbines.
The warship can cruise at a maximum speed of 30k and accommodate approximately 30 officers and 300 sailors. It features the ATM-based integrated ship data network (AISDN), auxiliary control system (ACS), automatic power management system (APMS) and combat management system (CMS).
It is also equipped with the most advanced weapon systems, such as anti-submarine technology, BrahMos surface-to-surface missiles, rocket launchers, torpedo tube launchers, sonar Humsa, EWS Ellora and AK-630 guns.
Furthermore, the destroyer integrates a flight deck and enclosed hangar to board two medium-lift helicopters, including the HAL Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and AgustaWestland Sea King.
INS Kochi and INS Chennai, the second and third warships of the Kolkata-class, are currently under different stages of construction and are scheduled to be delivered by late 2014 and mid-2015, respectively.
INS Kolkata will be deployed under the Western Fleet under the Navy’s Western Command.
In May, the Indian Navy operationally deployed its newly inducted aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, together with its integral MiG 29K combat aircraft fleet.
Image: An artistic illustration of a Kolkata-class destroyer. Photo: courtesy of Anirvan Shukla.