Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted the largest-ever warship built in India till now, the 6,800-tonne destroyer INS Kolkata, at Mumbai on Saturday. Modi, at the event, dedicated the biggest indigenously-built naval destroyer to the nation.
Mr. Modi while addressing the induction ceremony at Mumbai, said, “INS Kolkata is entirely built in India and it is a symbol of our self-reliance. It is a prime example of India’s technical abilities and will send a message around the globe”.
Modi also added that no country will now dare to challenge India, as INS Kolkata has become a part of Indian Navy.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan also accompanied Prime Minister in the ceremony.
Mr. Jaitley also addressed the ceremony saying, “It is a historic day for India and its people. I hope this ship will enhance our Navy’s capacity”.
With an operating range of 15,000 km, INS Kolkata, first of the three such ships that will join the Indian Navy in the next few years, is equipped to play a varied role. It has an in-built anti-submarine capability and can take on an anti-ship missile and fighter aircraft. It will also be the first Indian ship to be armed with the land attack, anti-ship BrahMos missile, also manufactured in India with Russian collaboration.
These capabilities give INS Kolkata an ability to operate without supporting fleet of ships. With an integral hanger and a landing deck for a helicopter, the guided missile destroyer will add teeth to the 140-ship strong Indian Navy, currently undergoing a massive expansion.