Mumbai, April 20: The Indian vy’s new and biggest destroyer, Visakhapatm, which has enhanced capacity to operate in nuclear, biological and chemical atmosphere, was put to the sea at a function here on Monday, officials said. It was ceremonially launched by Minu Dhowan, wife of val chief C.K. Dhowan, in the presence of top val, defence and civilian officials. The 163-metre long 7,300-tonne Visakhapatm is the first of the four follow-on warships of the Kolkata Class Project 15A, designed indigenously and will give a significant boost to India’s maritime capabilities when it joins Indian vy in 2018.
The Kolkata Class did not have a full-fledged Total Atmosphere Control System (TAC), which is included in Visakhapatm, according to an official. The TAC system provides a capability of almost endless operating in a fall-out region whether it is a nuclear, chemical or biological, because the complete air taken inside is through nuclear, biological and chemical filters barring the machinery compartment, where wearing specialized masks would be mandatory.
Visakhapatm is equipped with several indigenous weapon systems and an Israeli Multi Function Surveillance Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR), which would provide targeting information to the 32 Barak 8 long-range surface-to-air-missiles aboard. The Barak 8 missiles, being developed jointly by India and Israel, are being integrated into the Indian vy’s new destroyed INS Kolkata and shall be test-fired in October. Besides, Visakhapatm will also carry eight BrahMos missiles, a 127mm main gun, four 30mm rapid fire guns, and achieve speeds of over 30 knots with a maximum endurance of 400 utical miles at an economical speed of 14 knots. Fitted with a sophisticated Ship Data Network, an Automatic Power Magement System and a Combat Magement System, all information critical to operate the ship is made available to key officers through the SDN which the Indian vy terms a “data information highway”. (IANS)