The IT city of Bangalore lost out with the Navy deciding to name its upcoming guided missile destroyer INS Vishakhapatnam, cancelling the earlier proposal to name the ship after the Karnataka capital.
President Pranab Mukherjee, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, approved the name and crest of the new warship that would be launched into water on April 20 in Mumbai. INS Visakhapatnam is scheduled to be inducted into the service by 2018.
Almost 15 years ago, when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government cleared the indigenous construction of a large number of guided missile destroyers with advanced features as a follow up to the Delhi class destroyers, it was planned to name them after state capitals like Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore.
The scheme was later modified by the UPA government that wanted to name these ships after port cities from coastal states. As a result the first three ships under the Project-15A were named as INS Kolkata, INS Kochi and INS Chennai. The first ship, INS Kolkata was commissioned in August 2014.
Since both Kolkata and Chennai are also important ports besides being the state capital, they fit the nomenclature either way. In the next batch, four ships under Project-15B are being manufactured at a cost of Rs 29,345 crore and the first one has been named INS Visakhapatnam.
The subsequent ships are likely to be named as INS Paradip (representing Odisha) and INS Mormugaon, representing the home state of defence minister Manohar Parrikar. “The fourth ship would be named after a coastal city in Gujarat,” said a Navy officer.