Indian Navy's indigenously designed guided missile destroyer "INS Chennai" was today formally dedicated to the city by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister urged the Navy to protect the maritime interests of the state and the fishermen. The dedication ceremony of the 'P15A Guided Missile Destroyer', which is anchored here since April 15, at the Chennai Port Trust was marked by a series of drills and events. A plaque commemorating the occasion was unveiled by Palaniswami. "We are proud of our armed forces who protect us from external enemies. They ensure that we are able to enjoy our freedom and democracy.
The Indian Navy has always assisted the state during natural disasters", the Chief Minister said. "I urge the Indian Navy to protect the maritime interests of India and Tamil Nadu. Our fishermen must be protected against attacks so that they peacefully engage in the tradition of fishing in the exclusively economic zone", he said. Noting that the state government had always addressed issues relating to armed forces, he said it would continue to provide all necessary support in this regard. Eastern Naval Command, Commanding-in-Chief, Vice-Admiral, H C S Bisht, who was present, said the Navy was fully geared to meet the challenges at sea. Named after the city, INS Chennai is commanded by captain C R Praveen Nair and has 45 officers. The ship, commissioned by then Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar last year, is one of the most potent warships to have been constructed in India. The vessel's anti-submarine warfare capabilities include indigenously developed rocket and torpedo launchers. Besides, it is equipped to fight under nuclear, biological and chemical warfare conditions. An unique feature of the ship is the "high level of indigenisation" incorporated in the production. Some major indigenised equipment on-board INS Chennai include combat management system, rocket launcher, torpedo tube launcher, automated power management system and the bow mounted SONAR. During its call here, INS Chennai was visited by more than 5,000 people, including 2,000 students, officials said.
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