Modi commissions India’s largest indigenous warship INS Kolkata
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday
commissioned country’s largest indigenously built warship INS Kolkata. INS
Kolkata, a part of the Kolkata Class destroyers of the Indian Navy, has been
built at the Mumbai-based Mazgaon Docks, a defence Public Sector Unit.
Terming military might as the biggest deterrent to
war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the defence forces will be modernised to
ensure that “nobody casts an evil eye” on the nation.
“Fighting a war
and winning it has now become less difficult these days. But a modern military,
armed with state of the arm weaponry alone is a guarantee against war. When we
are capable, no one can dare challenge us,” Modi said addressing a gathering
after dedicating the largest indigenously built warship INS Kolkata to the
“When people have a sense of our military capability,
nobody will ever dare to cast an evil eye on our nation,” he said. Stressing
the importance of maritime security in fast expanding global trade and
commerce, the Prime Minister said India, with its vast coastline, was playing a
major role in it.
“In the coming days, INS Kolkata will inspire
confidence to those involved in maritime trade,” he said. Describing the
building of the destroyer ship as a big achievement by India’s technicians,
engineers and defence experts, Modi said the government was committed to
modernising the defence forces so “our jawans don’t feel they are lagging
behind in defending our nation.
“When I dedicate INS Kolkata to the nation, I am
confident it will boost our military prowess and give confidence to our
soldiers.” Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral
RK Dhowan were present at the ceremony held at the Naval dockyard.
The warship, constructed by the Mazagon Dockyards
Limited, has been designed by Navy’s design bureau. The 6,800 tonne warship is
a technology demonstrator and will showcase a giant leap in shipbuilding
technology in the country.
The Prime Minister had dedicated India’s largest warship
INS Vikramaditya to the nation in June in his first outing after taking charge.
Modi said that the government has taken important decisions in its budget and
has given priority to “defence upgrade”.
Referring to the decision of allowing 49 per cent FDI
in defence, Modi said, “We have to import (military hardware)…Because of this
one decision, India can become self-reliant in this sector. Our youth will
become innovative and a day will come when India will export in this sector.”
INS Kolkata will be a part of the Kolkata Class
destroyers of the Indian Navy which will include follow-on ships by the name of
INS Kochi and INS Chennai respectively. The keel of the warship was laid down
in September 2003 and the ship was launched in 2006. Its original commissioning
was planned in 2010 but there were delays.
The ship had also suffered a mishap during the trial
phase when a Navy officer lost his life during an incident in the fire-fighting
equipment of the vessel. The Prime Minister, on his day long visit to
Maharashtra, will also lay the foundation for a multi-crore SEZ and port
connectivity project in Navi Mumbai, dedicate a Power grid’s transmission line
and launch multiple road and highway projects in Solapur.