Its ironic, but true. INS Kolkata is ready to be launched by the Prime Minister of India-Narendra Modi on Saturday, but it is yet to be battle-ready. Built with an aim to be India's biggest and most powerful guided missile destroyer, this 7,500 ton warship lacks basic weaponry, which cuts down the possibility of detecting incoming missiles and submarines.The ship was under construction for the past 11 years, with a little help from Ukraine and Israel.
However, the Israel-built long range surface-to-air missile called the Barak NG is still under construction. The weapon is designed to identify a missile from a range of 100 kilometers and intercept at a range of upto 500 meteres.The missile is ready, but the boosters to propel the missile (at 2 machs), which has been taken up by DRDO have failed.The ship will therefore be laced with a lesser Barack-1 version, which has a shorter range of 10-12 kilometers.
Moreover, the ship is also devoid of Active Electronic owed Array Sonar (ATAS), which is attached at the back of the ship to detect any enemy intrusion.Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Rear Admiral AB Singh said,"The lack of ATAS is an unfortunate void."To add icing to the cake, INS Kolkata's main engines were supplied by Ukraine, a country that is war-ridden, which means the long-term availabilty of spares is uncertain.