New Delhi: The country’s third indigenous Naval destroyer INS Chennai built at the Mazagon Docks was launched by the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony’s wife Smt Elizabeth Antony amidst chanting of Vedic hymns at a function in Mumbai, today. INS Chennai has been built under the code name of Project 15 Alpha. The 163 meter long INS Chennai, propelled by four gas turbines is designed to achieve speed in excess of 30 knots. The indigenously designed ship will have state of the art weapons and sensors, stealth features, an advanced action information system, a comprehensive auxiliary control system, world class modular living spaces, sophisticated power distribution system and a host of other advanced features.
INS Chennai will be fitted with the supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface missile system. The system enables the ship to engage shore-based and naval surface targets at long range making it a lethal platform for strike against enemy targets. The ship’s air defence capability, designed to counter the threat of enemy aircraft and anti-ship cruise missile will revolve around the vertical launch, long range surface to air missile system, which is being co-developed by DRDO. Four AK-630 rapid-fire guns will provide the ship with close-in-defence capability while an MR gun will enable her to provide effective naval gunfire support. Indigenously developed twin tube torpedo launchers and rocket launchers will add punch to the ship’s anti-submarine capability. Indeed, these ships integrate many new features and involve design changes that ensure a far more advance weapons platforms compared to the earlier Project – 15 ships.
Once again, MDL will be using a ‘Pontoon Assisted Launching’ method to launch this vessel in collaboration with Baltisky Zavod of St. Petersburg, Russia. In this method, pontoons are welded to the hull, which will increase buoyancy and will overcome limitation on the launch weight and tidal constraints. This method will be the future of launching process in MDL and give the required flexibility in selection of launching dates, which were hitherto dictated by tidal considerations. Also as we progress towards a modular building concept, it will be possible to launch ships of a much higher weight. INS Chennai will be commissioned into the Navy in August 2013.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Antony said the role of Navy is continuously evolving and changing. “The active role it plays during peacetime – in curbing piracy and defending our coastline from aggressors. As the Navy’s mandate increases, it will have to arm itself with all kinds of vessels”.
Shri Antony said though the Defence Shipyards were performing well, they have to enhance their capability further to meet the stringent and timely requirements of the Armed Forces. He said if necessary, the Government would also involve the shipyards in private sector for building Naval ships.
The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma asked the Defence Shipyards in the country to brace-up and build vessels at a faster pace to meet the demands of the Indian Navy.