INS Kochi named after traditional home of Destroyers
The Defence Minister said the government is seized of the nation’s defence requirements and requisite financial support for the armed forces and defence industry will be made available, which includes the modernisation and development plans of the Navy
The Type II Hunt class Destroyers of World War II fame were sanctioned to be leased from Royal Navy to Indian Navy during June 1952, and subsequently sold to India in 1958. The first ship was commissioned as INS Ganga on June 18, 1953. Subsequently, two more ships of the class, INS Godavari and Gomati, were commissioned to form the 22nd Destroyer Squadron (22 DS). Initially, 22 DS was based at Bombay to be part of the Indian Fleet and thereafter transferred to Cochin in the early 1960s. Cochin then came to be known as the home port of Indian Navy’s Destroyers which performed the sterling role of training, being co-located with all specialised training schools at Cochin. It was a befitting tribute to the traditional home of Destroyers to have its name etched on the plaque of Indian Navy’s most powerful Guided Missile Destroyer of Project 15A, Kolkata class.
The ship’s crest depicts a sword and a shield together with a Snake Boat riding on the blue and white ocean waves, which symbolise the Malabar region’s rich maritime heritage and martial traditions.
INS Kochi, the second ship of Project 15A, is a follow-on programme of the first indigenously designed Delhi class Guided Missile Destroyers. It is to the entire credit of the Directorate of Naval Design (Surface Ship Group) to churn out a highly sophisticated and most advanced design of this 7,000-tonne man of war for the Indian Navy. The ship design not only incorporates most advanced design concepts for improved survivability, stealth, sea-keeping, and manoeuvrability, its weapons and sensors are those of the best in the class. Although the Project 15A has suffered a setback of at least five years in churning out the first of line INS Kolkata, Mazagon Dock Lim-
The ship design incorporates the most advanced design concepts for improved survivability, stealth, sea-keeping and manoeuvrability. It’s weapons and sensors are best in class.
ited, Mumbai, the shipbuilders have taken adequate measures to obviate further slippages or delays. Accordingly, the second in line, INS Kochi has been commissioned 13 months later and the last of the class INS Chennai is expected to be commissioned end 2016.
INS Kochi, with a displacement of 7,500 tonnes, 164 metres in length and 17 metres at the beam, is powered by four gas turbines to achieve maximum speed of 30 knots plus. The ship has a complement of about 40 officers and 350 sailors. The accommodation and living spaces have been designed with special emphasis on ergonomics and habitability. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved through shaping of hull and use of radar-transparent deck fittings. A bow-mounted Sonar Dome, the second of its kind in an indigenous naval platform, has been introduced to enhance sonar acoustic performance.
INS Kochi is the second ship packed with the most sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors including Multi-Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) to provide target data to the vertically launched Long-Range Surface to Air Missile system (LR SAM). The MF STAR and LR SAM systems are jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and Israel Aerospace Industries Limited.
The ship is equipped with the advanced supersonic and longrange BrahMos surface-to-surface missile. The 76mm 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, Indigenous Twin-tube Torpedo Launchers and a bow-mounted New-Generation HUMSA Sonar are fine examples of indigenous efforts in the field of underwater warfare. The sensor suite includes other advanced Surface-to-Air surveillance radars and an indigenous Electronic Warfare system. A state-of-theart 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 Asynchronous Transfer Mode-based Integrated Ship Data Network (AISDN), Combat Management System (CMS), Automatic Power Management System (APMS) and Auxiliary Control System (ACS). The AISDN is the information highway on which data from all the sensors and weapon ride. The CMS is used to integrate information from other platforms using indigenous data link system to provide Maritime Domain Awareness. The intricate power supply management is done using APMS, and remote control and monitoring of machinery is achieved through the ACS.
While commissioning INS Kochi on September 30, 2015, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the government is fully committed to developing a real Blue Water Navy, a navy which can dominate the Indian Ocean region (IOR), but will be considered friendly by the neighbouring countries. He gave two examples to illustrate his point—that of transporting drinking water to Maldives when the latter’s water treatment plant was damaged last year, and the rescue and evacuation of nationals of over 20 countries from war-torn Yemen by the Indian Navy, without any damage to our platforms and personnel.
Parrikar said there has been a renewed enthusiasm among the defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and the private sector in the development and production of platforms and systems for the defence forces and the government has been consistently trying to indigenise and speed-up timely deliveries. He hoped that the next Destroyer in the series will be put into water by the end of the current financial year.
Parrikar said while we have achieved significant indigenisation in ‘Float’ component of warships, we are lacking in the indigenisation of the high-end Fight components. To that end, the government is in the process of putting a policy in place to achieve high amount of self-reliance in the defence industry under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Defence Minister said the government is seized of the nation’s defence requirements and requisite financial support for the armed forces and defence industry will be made available, which includes the modernisation and development plans of the Navy. Towards this the government shall always remain committed to provide the necessary funds for the future expansion and growth of the Navy.
The commissioning ceremony was attended among others by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral S.P.S. Cheema; and the Chairman and Managing Director of Mazagon Dock Limited Rear Admiral R.K. Shrawat (Retd).
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Dhowan said that commissioning of INS Kochi is a milestone in the self-reliance programme of the Navy and stated that the indigenisation of platforms, weapons, sensors and equipment, through public as well as private sectors, will continue to remain a focus area of the Indian Navy. He emphasised that the “Roadmap for the Navy’s expansion and growth would continue to remain firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation.”
“INS Kochi will add more teeth to the Indian Navy’s sword arm in discharging our duty of safeguarding maritime interests in the IOR. It further reaffirms our resolve and faith in indigenous shipbuilding and the ‘Make in India’ programme. The Indian Navy no longer has to order platforms from abroad and has built up the capability to build from aircraft carriers to submarines and over 48 platforms are on order in India, none abroad,” Admiral Dhowan added.
The Commanding Officer, Captain Gurcharan Singh, read out the Commissioning Warrant prior to the hoisting of ‘Colours’ (the national flag and naval ensign) for the first time onboard the ship. Following her commissioning, INS Kochi will be based at Mumbai under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command.
REAR ADMIRAL S. RAMSAY (RETD)
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the commissioning ceremony of the INS Kochi at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on September 30, 2015. The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan and other dignitaries are also seen.