Kolkata, the naval stealth destroyer, which was handed over to the Western Naval Command last week, will have to wait till end of August to get its commissioning penant and formally join the fleet.
The cause behind is the non-availability of either the Defence Minister or Prime Minister for the commissioning ceremony which will be held in Mumbai.
Sources informed that the ship has been ‘waiting’ for well over two months in reality. ‘As soon as the new government settled down, our quest for a suitable date began in end of May,’ said a source.
As things happen, even though the ship was handed over by its maker, Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) to the Indian Navy last week, following the completion of sea trials, commissioning ceremonies are known to happen even before all trials are wrapped up. Trials, in such cases, take place after the commissioning of the ship.
After being ‘hopeful’ of a date in June and then in July, the navy seems to have settled for the end of August.The only window the navy will get is following the expiry of the Parliament session. Feedback received till date shows that neither the PM or Defence Minister is available till the last week of August.