Why INS Kolkata is a powerful yet vulnerable asset to the India Navy

Story behind INS Kolkata
Bangalore, Aug 16: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his maiden Independence Speech from Red Fort, Modi witnessed another historic event- the inclusion of INS Kolkata into the Indian Navy.

Narendra Modi, who was accompanied by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan inducted the country's largest built warship INS Kolkata into the Indian Navy.

What is INS Kolkata?

  • One of the country's biggest and most powerful guided missile destroyer, INS Kolkata was handed over to the Indian Navy on July 10, 2014.
  • The ship was constructed at Mazgon Dock Limited and construction had begun in 2003 but many reports still suggest that it is still not battle ready.
  • One of the main weapons on INS Kolkata has a long range Israel built surface-to-air missile called Barak NG.
  • This missile is designed to detect an incoming missile andintercept it upto a range of 500 metres.
  • The vessel has an overall length of 163 m, a beam of 17.4 m and a draft of 6.5m.
  • INS Kolkata has a 16-cell universal vertical launcher module (UVLM) that can kaunch BrahMos missiles.

Controversy relating to INS Kolkata

  • INS Kolkata is not new to controversy. The commissioning of the ship was delayed from 2010 to 2014 due to construction and technical problems.
  • On March 7, 2014, due to a carbon dioxide leak an officer was killed and many were injured.
  • Some even say that the ship is still not yet prepared to be launched as a full fledged battle ship, as it does not have the technology to detect submarines.
  • Reports suggest that the ship's main engines were acquired from Ukraine and due to the on-going conflict in Ukraine the availability of spares is a matter of concern.

Sea trials

  • Most of the technical problems were detected in 2010 after the ship's sea trials.
  • As part of her pre-commissioning weapon trials at sea, INS Kolkata test-fired a BrahMos missile off the coast of Karwar on June 9, 2014.

Induction in Indian Navy

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Aug 16 commissioned the induction of INS Kolkata in the Indian Navy. 
  • Modi said that this was a big day for India and that 'nobody would dare challenge India after this.' 

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