As Indian Navy added more firepower following induction of the first home built stealth anti-submarine warfare corvette ‘INS Kamorta’ on Saturday, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said effective defence preparedness is the “best guarantee” for peace in the region.
Jaitley also pushed for turning India into a key manufacturer of defence hardware from being the biggest buyer.
“Geographically, India is located in a very important position. We have a very large coastline. We also had a history of disturbed neighbourhood and, therefore, our effective preparedness is always the best guarantee for peace in the region,” he said at the Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam.
Speaking after commissioning `INS Kamorta (which has an indigenous component of 90%), he expressed satisfaction that India’s ship-building industry is coming of age and has become an important factor in defence preparedness.
He said private shipyards are also emerging to give a healthy competition to those in public sector. “It’s time we cease to be biggest buyer (of defence hardware) in the world and became a very important manufacturer. Today’s venture (Kamorta) has demonstrated our strength in that regard.”
The high-tech warship is distinct because it exhibits the growing clout and effectiveness of India Navy, he noted. “Yet another important ship has been added to Indian Navy.”
Ninety per cent of the warship is indigenous and it has been built by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE).
Defence officials said `Kamorta’ is a frontline war vessel with an array of anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti- air, anti-surface weapons and sensors. It’s the first of four ASW stealth corvettes designed by the Navy’s in-house unit, Directorate of Naval Design.
It would carry short-range surface-to-air missiles and active towed array decoy system. It can also carry an integral ASW helicopter, they said.
Measuring 110 metres in length, 14 metres in breadth and displacing 3,500 tons, the ship can achieve a speed of 25 knots, officials said. The ship is fitted with anti-submarine rockets and torpedoes, medium and close-in weapon systems and indigenous surveillance radar `Revathi’.
Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan said the commissioning of `Kamorta’ has added a new dimension to the ASW capability of the world’s fifth-largest maritime force.
The multifarious missions that can be undertaken by the ship truly reflect the enhanced multi-dimensional capability of the Indian Navy, he added.
The parties concerned have been directed to submit reports on the current status of construction.