INS Kochi Commissioned on 30 Sep 15, the second ship of the indigenously designed and constructed Project 15A (Kolkata-class) guided missile Destroyers, . INS Kochi has been built by the Mazagon Dock Ltd., Mumbai.
The Project 15A Destroyers are the follow-on ships of the legendary Project 15 'Delhi' class Destroyers which entered service in the late 1990s. Conceived and designed by Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design, the P15A ships have been christened after major port cities of India; Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai. The Keel of Kochi was laid on 25 Oct 05, and launched on 18 Sep 09. Kochi is the second of the Kolkata class and is of the most potent amongst the surface combatants that have been constructed in India. It measures 164 meters in length and approximately 17 meters in width, with a full load displacement of 7500 tonnes. The ship has a combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) propulsion system, comprising four powerful reversible gas turbines; and can attain speeds in excess of 30 knots. The Ship's electric power is provided by four gas turbine generators and one diesel alternator, which together produce 4.5 Mega-Watts of electrical power. The ship has a complement of 40 officers and 350 sailors.
INS Kochi incorporates new design concepts for stealth and has many firsts to her credit, including a very large component of indigenous combat-suite. The ship is packed with the most sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors including the vertically launched Long Range Surface to Air Missiles (LRSAM) and MF-STAR multi-function active phased array radar, which is fitted only on the Kolkata class of ships. She is equipped with the advanced supersonic and long range BrahMos Surface to Surface Missile – a joint Indo-Russian venture. The 76 mm 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 (IRL), Indigenous Twin-tube Torpedo Launchers (ITTL) and a bow-mounted New Generation HUMSA Sonar are fine examples of India’s 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-the-art 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.
The unique feature of the ship is the high level of indigenisation achieved with most of the systems onboard sourced from within the country. Some of the other major indigenised systems onboard INS Kochi include the Electronic Warfare Suite, Foldable Hanger Doors, Helo Traversing System and Ship’s Stabilisers. Crew comfort is a significant feature of INS Kochi and has been ensured through ergonomically designed accommodation and galley compartments based on modular concept.
INS Kochi derives her name from the vibrant port city of Kochi. This is a tribute to the city’s distinct maritime character and culture, and symbolises the special bond between the Indian Navy and the city of Kochi. 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. The crew of the ship abides by the Sanskrit motto “Jahi Shatrun Mahabaho” which means “Oh mighty armed one… conquer the enemy”.
An indigenously built Torpedo Launch and Recovery Vessel ‘INS Astradharini’, was commissioned on 06th October 2015 by Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command at an impressive ceremony held at the Naval Base, Visakhapatnam. Distinguished Scientist Dr. V Bhujanga Rao, Director General (NS &M) DRDO, Shri CD Malleswar, Director NSTL, Visakhapatnam, Mr. Sahay Raj, CMD of M/s. Shoft Shipyard Pvt. Ltd, Bharuch, Gujarat and various other dignitaries were also present during the commissioning ceremony.
The design of the Astradharini was a collaborative effort of NSTL, M/s Shoft Shipyard and IIT Kharagpur and has a unique design of a catamaran hull form that significantly reduces its power requirement and is built with indigenous steel. Having a length of 50 m, the vessel is capable to do speeds up to 15 Knots. It can operate at high sea states and has a large deck area with Torpedo Launchers for deploying and recovering various kinds of torpedos during the trials. The ship also has modern power generation and distribution, navigation and communication systems. The unique hull form of the ship demonstrates the country’s ship design and shipbuilding capabilities. It is a matter of pride that 95% of the ship’s systems are of indigenous design thus demonstrating the Navy’s continued adherence to the ‘Make in India’ philosophy.
INS Astradharini will be used to carry out the technical trials of underwater weapons and systems developed by NSTL, a naval systems laboratory of DRDO. It is an advanced replacement for Astravahini which was decommissioned on 17th July 2015. It has a complement of 02 officers and 27 sailors; Astradharini is can accommodate 13 DRDO scientists and has the capacity to undertake multiple trials during a single sortie. The commissioning of INS Astradharini will add a powerful punch to the DRDO's R&D capabilities and will accelerate the development of underwater weapons and systems.