CHENNAI: It will be a moment of pride for Chennaites as INS Chennai, one of India’s largest guided missile destroyers, was dedicated to the city on Monday in the presence of CM Edappadi Palaniswami and Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral HCS Bisht.
The third ship of the Project 15 A (Kolkata Class)-guided missile destroyer will be the second vessel named after the port city that was christened from Madras to Chennai in 1996. The Kolkata class of stealth guided missile destroyer already has two vessels — INS Kolkata and INS Kochi.
Chennai, during the Colonial era, had the His Majesty Indian Ship (HMIS) Madras, a Bathurst Class minesweeper built at the Cockatoo Docks in Australia and commissioned in 1942. It was decommissioned on 1960.
After that, the city, which is hailed as the south Gateway of India and which occupies a pride place in maritime history of Indian Navy, did not have a Indian Navy ship named after Chennai though vessels were named after Delhi, Kolkata, Mysore and Mumbai.
INS Chennai has a crest which depicts the outline of Fort St George, that personifies the rich maritime heritage of the city in the background, part of adjacent beach in front and a sloop on the blue and white waves in the foreground. The majestic sloop riding over the blue and white waves characterises the ancient seafaring tradition of Coromandel region and its early ‘Blue water’ achievements. The three masted design of the vessel represents the highly evolved ship building capabilities of seafaring dynasties of south India.
The vessel’s logo depicts the famed Manjampatti Bison of Tamil Nadu surging ahead with the ship. The map of the metropolitan area of Chennai juxtaposed between bison and ship reinforces the geographical association of INS Chennai with the city of Chennai.