The second of the three Indian Project 15-A stealth destroyers will be launched on September 18 by Mrs Madhulika Verma, wife of Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of the Naval Staff. The 6,500 ton ship, to be christened INS Kochi, is being built by Mazagon Docks in Mumbai. Designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, these are a follow-on of the existing Delhi-class.
The ship has advanced stealth features, which make it less vulnerable to detection by enemy radar and will be fitted with state-of-the-art weapon systems which include the supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface missile, the LRSAM Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile and the MFStar multi-function radar system providing accurate data on surface and air targets. In addition, the ship’s close-range defence capability will be boosted by four AK-630 rapid-fire guns and a Medium Range gun. The ships will also be fitted with indigenously developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers, the NPOL developed Humsa-NG hull-mounted sonar, and two multi-role helicopters adding punch to the ship’s anti-submarine capability. The maximum speed of the ship is above 30 knots.
The destroyer will be launched using the pontoon-assisted launch technique, to be employed for the first time in the history of indigenous warship building. This technique helps in overcoming slipway/draft constraints and permits launching of heavier vessels.
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