Stealth destroyer INS Kolkata, the largest warship built in India, will fire a long-range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM) for the first time in 2015.
“The vertical launch units of the LR-SAM, also called Barak 8, have been built into the vessel and the MF-STAR [multifunction surveillance and threat alert radar] is in place for missile guidance. All you need to do is take delivery of the missile, load it and fire. It is slated to take place next year,” Captain Tarun Sobti, Commanding Officer of INS Kolkata, told The Hindu during an exclusive tour of the ship.
The ship, commissioned in August in Mumbai, has just finished its maiden work-up here, during which the vessel and its crew were put through their paces by the Flag Officer Sea Training. The ship will carry 32 SAMs, with an enhanced range of up to 70 km, for missile defence.
The first flight of the LR-SAM, jointly developed by the Israeli Aerospace Industry and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), took place in Israel in November.
An operational firing of the vertical BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, against surface targets, would be carried out early next year, Capt. Sobti said. The vessel fired BrahMos during the sea-acceptance trials off Karwar in June.
He said the vessel had an indigenous content of about 70 per cent. The work-up laid emphasis on, and perfected, the standard operating procedures, safety routines and tactical skills. “It’s a special training where procedures are perfected, the crew put together and safety drills performed to a fault,” he said.
The vessel, sporting a stealth design and displacing 7,500 tonnes, demonstrated strength, manoeuvrability and survivability and provided crew comfort. robust anti-submarine warfare capability was achieved with depth chargers, heavy-weight torpedoes, rockets and a bow-mounted sonar, the HUMSA-NG, developed by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory, a DRDO lab.