The commissioning of Kolkata was delayed by four years to 2014 due to technical problems found during her sea trials. There was a generation of additional noise, which occurred when the engine, gear box and the shaft were operated together, but was issue-free when run independently. The issues were fixed and the sea trials were completed by February 2014, when the ship returned to Mumbai MDL before delivery.
Again on 7 March 2014, problems were found during sea trials and a naval officer was killed and several workers were injured when a valve on a CO2 bottle malfunctioned during a test of the vessel’s carbon dioxide fire-fighting unit at the Mazagaon dockyard.
When fire-retarding carbon dioxide gas was released as part of the test, Kolkata’s Engineering Officer-designate, Commander Kundal Wadhwa, inhaled a large amount of gas and was rushed to St. George’s Hospital but was pronounced dead. However, the incident did not delay the delivery of INS Kolkata in July this year.
Commissioning INS Kolkata, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it portrays India`s “Buddhi Bal” (intellectual capabilities) and enables India “achieve prowess in its defence capabilities, so no one can cast an evil glance at India.”
Mr Modi said that with changing times, the importance of prowess which came out of “Buddhi Bal” is as important for the armed forces as physical prowess (Baahu Bal). He described INS Kolkata as the biggest indigenous defence production.
“As we dedicate this ship to the nation, we display to the world, our buddhi bal and our manufacturing capabilities,” the Prime Minister said.
Being in Maharashtra, and talking about the Navy, Mr Modi said he cannot ignore the contribution of Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji, who conceived the navy as a means for securing India`s maritime trade interests.
The Prime Minister said that maritime security was a vital aspect of global trade, and India was playing its part in securing global trade. He added that INS Kolkata is also a great communication platform, and will be useful in securing India’s trade interests at sea.
The Prime Minister mentioned the provisions made in the recent budget for defence offsets, and said the world`s best arms and equipment manufacturers would be invited to set up manufacturing facilities in India, and a day would come when India would be completely self-reliant in defence production. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley was also present during the occasion.