Missile frigate INS Beas was handed over to the Indian Navy today. Eighty-five per cent of the warship has been made in India.
Its builders from the Garden Reach shipyard in Kolkata watched proudly as the warship was inducted into the Navy.
Indian built ships have won accolades abroad. At the international fleet review in England last month, many considered INS Mumbai the most impressive warship.
"When Prince Charles saw the INS Mumbai, he remarked that she is probably the smartest looking ship in that review. I heard later from a retired Royal Navy admiral there that they conducted a vote and the INS Mumbai was the best and the smartest ship in the fleet review," said Admiral Arun Prakash, Naval Chief.Foreign components
The foreign components on the ship are mainly weapon systems like the Uran missiles or the Barak air defence system.
But India's software skills integrate the foreign systems into a hi-tech control room so that they function together smoothly, the most difficult part of ship design.
It's only the most hi-tech foreign weaponry that the Navy is looking to buy. The Chief today admitted he was eyeing the American F-35 fighter that's still years away even for the US Navy.
"Yes, if the F-35 becomes available we would be interested in it. If the US makes us an offer, we would be very interested in taking a look at the aircraft," said Admiral Prakash.Best in the world
But on the Beas itself, there is absolute confidence that they are as good as the best in the world.
"I would say it compares exceedingly well with the best in the world. And what gives us the cutting edge is our officers and men, who are in any case the best in the world," said Captain SS Jamwal, INS Beas.
So the INS Beas is off to join the Western Naval Fleet in Mumbai, which is already India's strongest.
In the days ahead, if there are reports of an Indian ship patrolling the Straits of Malacca or searching a freighter for nuclear contraband, it just might be the INS Beas.