One of India’s largest indigenously designed destroyer ships, INS Chennai, is to be commissioned by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar here on Monday. It is the first naval vessel to have an indigenously designed decoy chaf system named “Kavach”, which can divert a missile fired by the enemy ship targeting INS Chennai. Interestingly, “Kavach” was first test-fired from INS Chennai itself. Apart from “Kavach”, INS Chennai also has “Mareech”, a torpedo decoy system. Both have been developed indigenously. INS Chennai is the third and last destroyer ship of Project 15A. The three Kolkata class of stealth-guided missile destroyers have been completed at the total project cost of Rs 11,500 crore.

An important feature is the completely revamped galley with the help of a Mumbai-based businessman. The kitchen of the ship can now make up to 800 hot chapatis every hour mechanically. The machinery functions even during rough weather conditions. “In the earlier mechanism, the rollers would get jammed if the ship ran in even a bit of rough weather. Moreover, the capacity of previous roti makers was very limited. We would have to make shifts for serving food. Each batch would get food only at the specified timing. It was impossible to make chapatis for everyone at the same time. Now, that problem is solved. The entire crew can be fed at the same time,” an officer said. Chapatis are an inalienable component of many sailors and officers from north and west India. The new galley is expected to keep the stomachs of the crew and officers happy.

Apart from having state-of-the-art warfare machinery installed on it, the ship has also been designed in a more spacious manner, giving better amenities to every sailor on-board. The bunk beds are more spacious, have charging points and LED lights at each bed. The design of the ship is modern. Wardrobes with mirrors have been fitted well in the resting areas.

“INS Chennai has been built by Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. Following the commissioning, INS Chennai will be placed under the operational and administrative control of the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. On completion of some additional sea trials of ship-borne systems, the ship will be assigned to the Western Fleet and would be based in Mumbai,” a Naval official said.

“The ship is among the largest destroyers constructed in India, with a length overall of 164 meters and displacement of over 7,500 tonnes. The ship is a potent platform capable of undertaking a variety of tasks and missions, spanning the full spectrum of maritime warfare. Armed with supersonic surface-to-surface BrahMos missiles, and Barak-8 Long Range surface-to-air missiles, the ship possesses formidable prowess of missile technology. The undersea warfare capable boasts of indigenously developed anti-submarine weapons and sensors, prominently the Hull Mounted Sonar HUMSA-NG, Heavyweight Torpedo Tube Launchers, Rocket Launchers and Towed Arrau sonar capability,” he added.

The ship will have nearly 40 officers and 330 crew members on-board.

An officer of the Navy said that INS Chennai is propelled by a powerful Combined Gas and Gas propulsion plant, consisting of four reversible gas turbines, which enables her to achieve a top speed of over 30 knots (approximately 55 kmph).

The ship boasts of a very high level of automation with sophisticated digital networks, such as ATM based integrated Ship Data Network, Combat Management System, Automatic Power Management System and Auxilliary Control System. The crew of the ship abides by the Sanskrit motto “Shatro Sanharaka” meaning “Vanquisher of Enemies”. The motto epitomises the warrior spirit and strong resolve of the ship and her crew to prevail and succeed in combat.

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