21 September 2009
The INS Kochi, a 6,500-ton warship, will add its force to the existing Indian fleet, which includes the INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai.(photo : Keypublishing)
NEW DELHI - The Indian Navy has launched the second of its three stealthy Project-15-A, or Kolkata-class, destroyers. The INS Kochi, launched Sept. 18, is expected to be delivered in May 2011 for induction into active service.
Built by Mazagon Dock, the state-owned shipyard, the Project-15-A destroyers will be fitted with the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile and long-range surface-to-air missiles.
The Kochi was launched via a pontoon-assisted launch procedure, with aerial support from two multirole helicopters, a senior Defence Ministry official said, the first time such a method has been used for a warship launched in India. Russian experts were on hand to assist with the pontoon launch, which helps heavier vessels avoid slipway constraints.
The Kochi will be equipped with a multifunction radar system for acquiring data on surface and air targets, the Defence Ministry official said, and four AK-630 rapid-fire guns and a medium-range gun for closer targets. The destroyer will also have indigenously developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers, and Humsa sonar, developed by the state owned Naval Physical Oceanographic Laboratory.