Monday 23 May 2022
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PM commissions INS Kolkata

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioned INS Kolkata into the Indian Navy (IN) at a glittering ceremony held today at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai.

Kolkata is the lead ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Kolkata-class guided missile destroyers, built by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai. On his arrival, the prime minister was received by Admiral RK Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, and accorded a 100-man Guard of Honour. The prime minister then embarked the ship for the commissioning ceremony, which was conducted in accordance with the traditions of the IN.

On this momentous occasion, Admiral Dhowan welcomed the prime minister and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Navy. During his address, the admiral said that commissioning of INS Kolkata was a milestone in the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stressed that indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through public as well as private sectors, would continue to remain a focus area. He emphasised, “The roadmap for the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored on self-reliance and Indigenisation.”

The Project 15A Kolkata class destroyers are follow-on of the legendary Project 15 Delhi class destroyers that entered service in the late 1990s. Conceived and designed by Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design, the ships have been named after major port cities of India namely Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai. The keel of Kolkata was laid on 26 Sep 2003 and the ship was launched on 30 Mar 2006. Regarded as the most potent warship to have been constructed in India yet, this magnificent ship measures 164 m in length and approximately 18 m in width and has a full load displacement of 7,400 tonnes. The ship has a Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion system, consisting of 4 powerful reversible gas turbines. It can attain speeds in excess of 30 knots. The ship’s electric power is provided by 4 gas turbine generators and a diesel alternator, which together produce 4.5 MW of electrical power, enough to light up a small town. The ship has a complement of 30 officers and 300 sailors.

History

Construction
The keel of the Kolkata was laid down in September 2003 and she was launched on 30 March 2006. Her commissioning was originally planned for 2010, but this was delayed to 16 August 2014 as a result of a series of project delays. During her construction at MDL, she was given the designation Yard-701.

Sea trials
The commissioning of Kolkata was delayed from 2010 to 2014 due to delays in her construction and technical problems which were found during her sea trials. The issue detected was generation of additional noise, which occurred when the engine, gear box and the shaft were operated together, but which worked issue-free when run independently. The issues were fixed and the sea trials were completed by February 2014, when the ship returned to MDL to undergo minor work before delivery.

2014 carbon dioxide leak
On 7 March 2014, during a complete check-up of the ship’s machinery to fix the problems found during sea trials, a naval officer was killed and several workers were injured when a valve on a CO2 bottle malfunctioned during a test of the vessel’s carbon dioxide fire-fighting unit at the Mazagaon dockyard. For the test, fire-retarding carbon dioxide gas was to be released into a compartment; the test was part of the destroyer’s delivery trials. Kolkata‘s Engineering Officer-designate, Commander Kuntal Wadhwa, inhaled a large amount of gas and was rushed to St George’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Two dockyard officials who also inhaled the gas were also taken to hospital for treatment. MDL stated that the incident would not the scheduled commissioning of the ship.

Weapon trials
As part of her pre-commissioning weapon trials at sea, Kolkata test-fired a BrahMos missile off Karwar’s coast on 9 June 2014, and the test met all parameters.

INS Kolkata incorporates new design concepts for stealth and has many firsts to her credit, including a very large indigenous combat component. The ship is packed with the most sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors including the vertically launched Long Range Surface to Air Missiles (LRSAM) coupled with the MF-STAR multi-function active phased array radar, which is fitted for the first time on an Indian Naval ship. She is equipped with advanced supersonic and long range BrahMos Surface to Surface Missiles – a joint Indo-Russian venture. The 76 mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) and AK 630 CIWS, both manufactured indigenously, can take on air and surface targets. The entire anti-submarine weapon and sensor suite fitted onboard, consisting of Indigenous Rocket Launchers (IRL), Indigenous Twin-tube Torpedo Launchers (ITTL) and a bow-mounted New Generation HUMSA Sonar are a fine example of our indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. The sensor suite includes other advanced surface and air surveillance radars and an indigenous electronic warfare system. A state-of-the-art Combat Management System (CMS-15A) has been integrated with the onboard weapons and sensors. The ship is equipped to operate two Seaking or Chetak helicopters.

The ship can be truly classified as a ‘network of networks’, as it is equipped with sophisticated digital networks, such as ATM-based Integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN), Auxiliary Control System (ACS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Combat Management System (CMS). The AISDN is the information highway on which data from all the sensors and weapons ride. Whilst remote control and monitoring of machinery is achieved through ACS, the intricate power supply management is done using APMS. The CMS is used to integrate information from own data sources and collate information from other platforms using indigenous data-link system, to provide maritime domain awareness.

The unique feature of this ship is the high level of indigenisation achieved with most of the systems onboard sourced from within the country which has generated a sound vendor base for future ships. Some of the major indigenised equipment/ systems onboard INS Kolkata include Combat Management System (CMS), Auxiliary Control System (ACS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS), Foldable Hangar Doors, Helo Traversing System and bow mounted HUMSA NG system. Crew comfort is a significant feature of INS Kolkata and has been ensured through ergonomically designed accommodation and galley compartments on modular concept.

The crest of the ship depicts the Howrah Bridge in the background and a leaping Royal Bengal Tiger in the foreground, both symbolic of the city of Kolkata, riding above blue and white ocean waves. The crew of the ship abides by the motto on the crest “yuddhaya sarvasannadh” which means “always prepared for battle”.

Commanding Officer Captain Tarun Sobti read out the commissioning warrant, prior to the hoisting of ‘colours’ (the National Flag and naval ensign) for the first time in the of the ship. Following her commissioning, INS Kolkata will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. On completion of some additional sea trials of ship-borne systems, she will be assigned to the Western Fleet and would be home-ported at Mumbai.

The function was attended by a host of senior dignitaries, from both civilian as well as naval communities. Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Adviser Ajit Kumar Doval, Members of Parliament Arvind Savant and Poonam Mahajan, Defence Secretary RK Mathur, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Anil Chopra and Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Docks Limited Rear Admiral RK Shrawat (Retd) attended the ceremony.

Press Information Bureau

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