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Navy warship Kalpeni commissioned
Kochi, Oct 14 (Agencies):
Published on 14 Oct. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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The indigenous Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (FAC) Kalpeni was commissioned by Chief Justice of Kerala Jasti Chelameswar at a formal ceremony held at the Southern Naval Command here on Thursday morning, reports the Hindu.
INS Kalpeni is the seventh of the 10 new generation Car Nicobar class FACs designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
Justice Chelameswar, in his address, pointed out that it was as important to develop the capability to indigenously build modern vessels as to equip the forces with modern weapons.
“Traditionally, India is a peace-loving country, but even a peace lover is required to be always prepared to exert pressure,” he said. The acquisition of modern technology and hardware, he hoped, would be an incentive for younger generations to join the services.
Rear Admiral (retd) K.C. Sekhar, Chairman and Managing Director of GRSE, said that the ship with nearly 95 per cent indigenous content was completed in 24 months. “The next ship of this class will be delivered to the Command here in two months,” he said.
Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, Flag officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command, said that the commissioning of the ship formed part of the operationalisation of the coastal security apparatus.
“Indications are that pirates have slowly shifted their operations close to Lakshadweep and Minicoy islands,” he said, hoping that the ship would rise up to this challenge. Kalpeni, propelled by three powerful water jets, can achieve speeds in excess of 35 Knots.
Based at the Southern Naval Command, it will bolster the capabilities of the command in coastal surveillance and search and destruction of fast moving targets. The main armament of the ship is a 30mm CRN-91 Gun with an Optronic Pedestal Sight as its director.
In addition, the ship has been fitted with 11 machine guns of various types and shoulder-fired IGLA Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM) to thwart aerial threats.
Commanded by Lieutenant Commander Subhal Nathan, it has a crew of 3 officers and 38 sailors.
The ceremony commenced with the inspection of a guard of honour by the chief justice. The commissioning warrant signed by the chief of the naval staff was then read out by Kalpeni’s commanding officer.
The ceremony was completed when the naval ensign and the national flag was hoisted for the first time onboard the ship along with the traditional breaking of the commissioning pennant.
The ceremony was carried out with the parading of the colour guard and to the accompaniment of the national anthem. Later, Justice Chelameswar unveiled the ship’s plaque.

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