Though Mr Palaniswamy did not take part in the trip today, several senior AIADMK legislators and ministers attended the event. Tamil Nadu is witnessing a flurry of political developments amid possible merger of two rival factions of the ruling AIADMK.
"This is our first trip on a ship. My family joined me and we loved it," Minister for Handloom and Textiles, OS Manian said. Finance Minister D Jayakumar said, "The ship was exclusively built in India. It is equipped with modern technology. Being part of this event is a big deal."
INS Chennai is commanded by Captain CR Praveen Nair and has 45 officers. The ship, commissioned by former Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar last year, is one of the most powerful warships constructed in India.
Named after the port city, the 163 metre-long ship with a displacement of 7,500 tonnes is propelled by four powerful gas turbines, and can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots.
It is loaded with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors such as surface-to-surface missiles and surface-to-air missiles and fitted with surveillance radar which provides target data to the gunnery weapons systems.
The vessel's anti-submarine warfare capabilities include rocket and torpedo launchers. It is also equipped to fight under nuclear, biological and chemical warfare conditions. It is equipped to fight under nuclear, biological and chemical warfare conditions.
(With inputs from PTI)