India’s big warship debate

Debate over whether big ships are the way forward.

INS Kochi And The ‘Big-Warship’ Debate – Analysis

By Abhijit Singh*

The recent commissioning of the INS Kochi has triggered a debate about the desirability of building big warships. At 7,500 tonnes, the Kochi is one of the largest guided missile destroyers ever assembled by an Indian shipbuilding yard. Fitted out for a multi-mission role in the Indian Ocean with armament comprising Brahmos cruise missiles, long Range Surface-to-Air Missiles (LR-SAM), anti-submarine rockets, and torpedoes, the ship is easily the most sophisticated and powerful capital combatant to have graced the Navy’s fighting fleet.

This is the second big Indian destroyer to have been commissioned in the past fourteen months. In August 2014, INS Kolkata, the lead ship of the P 15-A class, joined the Western fleet at Mumbai. The excitement surrounding the commissioning of the two destroyers followed the enthusiastic averment of political leaders and strategic experts who sought to portray the new assets as India’s ‘battleships’ meant to assert strategic dominance in the Indian Ocean.

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