On 16th August 2014, Prime Minster Narendra Modi gave the Indian Navy its first indigenous guided-missile-destroyer INS Kolkata. This ship is a testament to our engineers and designers, but that would not be the full picture. The problem is this ship is still not fully functional i.e. worthy because many of its strike and defense elements like the main air defense weapon which protects the vessel from aerial attacks. Long Range-Surface to Air Missile (LR-SAM) has yet to be installed and it may take some time yet. This is being developed as joint venture between India and Israel. So what it means is the ship is vulnerable to incoming anti-ship missiles, which the Chinese destroyers and frigates have at their disposal. The Barak is meant to intercept and protect the ship from incoming missiles from a ship or aircraft from a distance of 70 kilometers.
Also the ship is not equipped with a primary sensor to detect submarines, towed array sonar. This technology was being developed in India but it did not pass the Navy’s expectation we now have to look elsewhere, which means dependent on a foreign system. The long range towed array sonar will give this ship protection against submarine which increases the safety and strike potential even more. There are other things to worry about this ship but it is pointless to get into all that. Bottom line if fully stocked, this ship will be in a position to challenge any navy. But let us not get too excited about what the PM said about no country would challenge us now. We are far from it and the danger lurks on our north, South, East and West because the “The Dragon Cometh”.