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India to launch stealth destroyer INS Kochi on Friday

A File Photo of BRAHMOS cruise missile.

NEW DELHI (PTI): India will launch INS Kochi, a Delhi class destroyer, at Mumbai on Friday by employing for the first time the pontoon-assisted technique.

The Destroyer, before its launch at the Mazagon Docks, will be christened by Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma's wife Madhulika Verma, a Navy spokesperson said here Thursday.

The launch technique would help the shipbuilders in overcoming slipway draft constraints which hinder heavier vessel movement into deeper waters for fitting its superstructures such as decks.

This technique would permit Mazagon Docks in launching heavier vessels in the future.

The 6,500-tonne INS Kochi will be the second warship in the 'Project 15-A' under which three guided-missile destroyers with stealth and multi-role features will be built.

Under this Rs 8,459-crore project, the Mazagon Docks launched the INS Kolkata Destroyer in 2006.

Project 15-A is a follow-on order of the Delhi class under which the Indian Navy already operates INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai.

The Kolkata series of warships, designed indigenously by the Directorate of Naval Design, is the stealth version of the Delhi class Destroyers.

INS Kochi, the Navy spokesperson said, would have advanced stealth features, which makes it less vulnerable to detection by enemy radar and would be fitted with the state-of-the-art weapon system including the Indo-Russian joint venture 'BrahMos' surface-to-surface cruise missiles.

It would also be armed with Israeli 'Barak' Long Range Surface to Air Missiles and 'MFStar' multi-function radar system providing accurate data on surface and air targets.

In addition, the ship's close-range defence capability would be boosted by four AK-630 rapid-fire guns and a medium range gun.

The warship would be fitted with indigenously developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers, and Humsa-NG hull-mounted sonar.

The Destroyer would carry on-board two multi-role helicopters, adding punch to its anti-submarine warfare capability.

The warship would be powered to attain speeds of 30 knots, the Navy spokesperson said.

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