ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE CORVETTE
ANTI-SUBMARINE WARFARE CORVETTE
Kamorta class corvettes are the Indian Navy’s next-generation anti-submarine warfare ships, built under Project 28 by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata. The first corvette is expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy in the latter half of 2012. All the four corvettes are planned to be handed over to the Indian Navy by the year 2014.
Project 28 is the primary project for driving indigenisation and developing the warship construction industry in India. The aim with this project is to stipulate unprecedented standards while providing opportunities to Indian vendors to develop expertise with the technology. The project is driven by the Navy’s Directorate of Indigenisation. The design includes many stealth features, including reductions in noise and vibration of the vessels.
INS AIR VAT
INS Airavat (L-24) is an amphibious warfare ship that recently entered service with the Eastern Command of the Indian Navy in May 2009. It is a tank landing ship, a type of amphibious warfare ship that can carry and deploy tanks, vehicles, troops and cargo to land. The INS Airavat can carry and deploy 11 battle tanks, 10 armored vehicles and 500 troops, and also carries one helicopter. It is the third ship in the Shardul class landing ships. The first two are INS Shardul and INS Kesari It was built indigenously with 90% indigenous content at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
INS Andaman is India’s second nuclear powered submarine of the “INS Arihant class”, currently under construction at Shipbuilding Centre (SBC) in Visakhapatnam. The electronics and other systems are all indigenous. Once commissioned, INS Arihant would be deployed on ‘deterrent (combat) patrol.’ Although it would be home-ported in Visakhapatnam, the submarine, armed with nuclear-tipped K-15 or B-5 ballistic missiles and having a range of about 750 km, would offer effective deterrence against Pakistan, the sources pointed out. The missiles are developed under the Sagarika programme. Displacing about 6,000 tonnes, the 112 m long Arihant-class of boomer submarines are powered by indigenously-built 80-MW nuclear power plants. Each submarine is said to store 12 K-15 missiles besides torpedoes and torpedo-launched cruise missiles.
It will be ready for launch by end 2012, or the first quarter of 2013. The project is expected to be ready for sea trials by 2015. By that time India would have the Russian submarine on lease and INS Arihant deployed. The first submarine of the class, INS Arihant, was launched in July 2009.
INS Arihant (S-73) is the lead ship of India’s Arihant class of nuclear-powered submarines that was built under the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) programme. The symbolic launch ceremony for the Arihant was held on 26 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day). The name of the vessel, Arihant is in Sanskrit and literally translates into destroyer of enemies. The INS Arihant makes India one of six countries in the world with the ability to design, build, and operate its own nuclear submarines. The launch of INS Arihant strengthens India’s endeavor to build a credible nuclear triad – the capability to fire nuclear weapons from air, land and sea.
It is powered by an 80 MWe pressurized heavy water (PWR) reactor that uses 40 % enriched uranium as fuel. This helps the INS Arihant stay under water for indefinite periods, making it undetectable to an adversary. It will carry 12 K-15 Sagarika nuclear-capable submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and torpedoes. On account of these two salient features, the INS Arihant will provide India with a significant, credible second strike (retaliatory) nuclear capability and will therefore boost India’s credible minimum nuclear deterrence. INS Arihant therefore has strategic defence value for India. It was built at the Shipbuilding Centre, Vishakapatnam.
NERPA NUCLEAR SUBMARINE
Nerpa is an Akula-II class, nuclear-powered attack submarine which was handed over to India on a 10-year lease for $ 920 million. The commissioning and handing over ceremony took place in the Russian town, Bolshoy Kamen (Big Stone), of Primorsky region.
The submarine, capable of remaining underwater for months, will be rechristened as “INS Chakra” and it would be for the first time in more than two decades that the Indian navy would have a nuclear attack submarine. The Akula-II class submarines are equipped with 28 nuclear-capable cruise missiles with a striking range of 3,000 km. The Indian version is reportedly expected to be armed with the 300-km Club nuclear-capable missiles. INS Chakra is different from the indigenously made INS Arihant in configuration. Chakra has a displacement of 8,140 tonnes and a maximum speed of 30 knots, and the K-152 submarine is armed with four 533mm torpedo tubes and four 650mm torpedo tubes. India has become the sixth operator of nuclear submarines in the world, after the US, Russia, France, Britain and China, though it previously leased another Russian submarine which was then returned. India had earlier leased a Russian Charlie Class nuclear submarine from 1988-1991.
The Nerpa had originally been scheduled for delivery in 2008 but an accident during sea trials on November 8 that year had forced the Russian authorities to put it on hold. India had funded the completion of the Nerpa nuclear submarine at Amur Shipyard before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
INS Betwa (F39) is a Brahmaputra class guided missile frigate currently in active service with the Indian Navy. The Brahmaputra class frigates (Type 16A or Project 16A) are guided-missile frigates of the Indian Navy, designed and built indigenously in India. They are an enhancement of the Godavari class. Although of similar hull and dimension, internally, the Brahmaputra and Godavari classes have different configurations, armaments and capabilities. 3 ships of this class serve in the Indian Navy. The class and the lead ship, INS Brahmaputra, are named after the River Brahmaputra. Subsequent ships of the class, INS Betwa and INS Beas are also named for Indian rivers. It carries 16 Kh-35 anti-ship missiles as its primary weapon. It also carries two helicopters. It has taken part in Operation Cactus in the Maldives in 1988, Operation Sukoon – a rescue operation during 2006 Israel-Lebanon Conflict, and is currently serving in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
INS Deepak is a Deepak-class fleet tanker. The Deepak class is a class of fleet replenishment tankers of the Indian Navy being built by Fincantieri. Deepak was launched on 13 February 2010 and commissioned on 21 January 2011. The fleet tanker, constructed and delivered in a record time of 27 months, has aviation facilities and can operate various types of helicopters from its deck. It has a self-defence capability provided by 30-mm guns and indigenous Anti Missile Defence System. In addition, the ship also has sophisticated electronic surveillance and communication equipment. It is capable of carrying out an integrated helicopter flight. The ship is specially designed to function as a command platform. The sensors and other equipment fitted onboard have a large percentage of indigenously manufactured components, especially the communication and Combat Information Management System. The ship is of ‘double hull’ configuration, in keeping with the latest MARPOL and SOLAS regulations. The INS Deepak can refuel four ships simultaneously.
The Italian-built fleet tanker, is 175 m long and 25 m wide. It can carry 15,250 tonnes of liquid cargo, 510 tonnes of ammunition, missiles, and rockets.
India’s continued presence in Indian Ocean waters necessitates pursuing our strategic and diplomatic interests; for which a ship such as INS Deepak, with an ability to sustain the Indian fleets at sea for prolonged periods, is a vital asset.
INS Kabra is a water jet-propelled Fast Attack Craft (FAC), eighth in a series of 10 Car Nicobar- class FACs designed and built by the Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) for the Navy. Smaller ships like FACs were important in tackling peacetime challenges to maritime security such as piracy and low-intensity conflicts. INS Kalpeni has extensively participated in anti-piracy operations. It is named after an island of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.
INS Kabra has speeds in excess of 35 knots. It offers excellent manoeuvrability and is ideal for high-speed interdiction of fast-moving targets. The ship’s speed, agility and quick response will be useful in search and rescue operations. The low draught also allows the ship to operate in shallow waters close to the coast. INS Kabra complies with the latest regulations of the International Maritime Organisation on sea pollution control. Its main armament is a 30mm CRN 91 Gun. Also fitted with machine guns of various types and the IGLA shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, the ship has a crew of 3 officers and 39 sailors.
IN NEWS: It was commissioned by Vice-Admiral K.N. Sushil, at the Kochi naval base on 8th June 2011.
INS Kadmatt is the 2nd in a series of four Kamorta Class of Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) corvettes that will be commissioned into the Navy’s fleet. The 4 ASW are:-
- Kamorta (Launched in 2010, To be delivered to Indian Navy in 2012)
- Kadmatt (Launched in 2011, To be delivered to Indian Navy in 2013)
- Kiltan (Yet to be launched)
- Kavaratti (Yet to be launched)
The ASW corvettes – deemed Kamorta Class Ships – with more than 80% indigenous content, capable of fighting under NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) environment are designated as super-sophisticated frontline warships with stealth features. The vessel is 109 m long, 12.8 m wide and can achieve a speed of 25 knots. Named after an island in Lakshadweep, the ship can accommodate 17 officers, 106 sailors and will also carry a helicopter onboard.
This ship’s main role is to protect other ships in the convoy and sea ports against the submarine attack and to neutralize the enemy submarines using her weapons like torpedoes, rocket launchers and helicopters. The ship has high-stealth features making her more or less invisible to the enemy above and below the waters. The anti-submarine warfare capability is largely achieved due to the low signature of radiated underwater noise.
The Indian Navy’s modernization quest under ‘Project-28’,to stealthily hunt and destroy lurking enemy submarines, got further bolstered with the launch of INS Kadmatt. It is built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
IN NEWS: It was launched in Kolkota on 25th October 2011.
INS Kalpeni is the 7th of a batch of 10 ships being built at Garden Reach Shipyard Kolkota. It is an improved version of the Bangaram Class Fast Attack Craft is conceived, designed and built indigenously. The main armament of the ship is 30mm CRN 91 Gun with an Optronic Pedestal Sight as its Director. In addition the ship has been fitted with 11 Machine guns of various types and shoulder launched IGLA Surface to Air Missiles to neutralise aerial threats. The Ship propelled by three powerful Water Jets, has excellent manoeuvrability, high efficiency and low maintenance. It can achieve speed in excess of 35 Knots.
INS Kalpeni would be based at Kochi. The ship would bolster the capabilities of Southern Naval Command in coastal surveillance and search and destruction of fast moving targets. The Ship has a crew of 3 officers and 38 sailors onboard. Weighing 320 tonnes, the ship is 52 m long.
IN NEWS: The indigeniously built INS Kalpeni was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Kerala high court chief justice J. Chelameswar on 14th October 2010.
INS Koswari, the 9th indigenously built Fast Attack Craft (FAC) of the Indian Navy, is conceived, designed and built indigenously by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, this small yet highly manoeuvrable craft is ideally suited for deployment along the coast. Its ability to operate in shallow waters at high speeds, day-night surveillance capability coupled with enhanced fire power is expected to give the requisite impetus to combating asymmetric threats emanating from the sea.
Named after an island off Tuticorin, INS Koswari, measuring 52 m in length and displacing 325 tons, can achieve speeds in excess of 30 Knots. The Ship has a complement of 4 officers and 35 sailors. Built for extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol, with advanced MTU engines and latest communication sets, INS Koswari will be based at Karwar, under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Karnataka) and will be deployed for Coastal Patrol and Anti-Piracy missions along the Konkan Coast and the Lakshadweep group of islands.
IN NEWS: It was commissioned by the then Lieutenant General Bikram Singh, at the Naval Base, Visakhapatnam on 12th July 2011.
INS Satpura became the 140th warship of the Indian Navy. The INS Satpura, which follows the INS Shivalik into service, is the second of three Project 17 stealth frigates that are being built by Mazagon Dock Ltd, Mumbai. It will be followed by INS Sahyadri early next year. These three warships trace their design ancestry to three Talwar-class frigates that Russia built for the navy a decade ago. However the Shivalik-class frigates are significantly heavier than the 4,100-tonne Talwar-class frigates, giving them the capability to absorb, as well as deliver, heavier blows in battle.
Officially termed a guided-missile frigate, the INS Satpura weighs 6,200 tonnes. The Satpura carries 24 Russian Klub missiles, which can hit ground targets more than 200 km away with pinpoint precision. The Satpura is also equipped with the Israeli Barak air defence system, to ward off enemy aircraft and missiles. It has torpedoes to deal with enemy submarines, as well as an RB-6,000 multi-barrelled depth charge launcher. Posted on board the Satpura is a tiny aviation unit, with hangars and facilities for two Sea King, or indigenous Dhruv helicopters.
Driving this 142 m long warship through the water are two French Pielstick diesel engines. In addition, there are two General Electric LM-2500 gas turbines. This provides the advantage of fuel- efficient operation in the normal course, using the Pielstick diesels, while the gas turbines take over when bursts of speed are required, especially in battle. This is known as CODOG (combined diesel or gas) configuration. The Satpura’s key advantage is stealth. Its design reduces the vessel’s radar, infrared, electronic, acoustic and visual signatures, making it difficult for the enemy to detect it.
IN NEWS: It was commissioned by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma on 20th August 2011.
INS Shakti is the 2nd of the two fleet tankers built by Fincantieri Shipyard, Italy for the Indian navy. INS Shakti is the 3rd tanker by the same name, with the earlier two having served the nation with pride. The induction of Shakti into naval service would enhance the reach of the navy well beyond the limits of the Indian Ocean and provides support to the expanding fleet of the Indian Navy. The ship is one of the largest in the Indian Navy as it is 175 m in length and 32 m in width. The vessel displaces over 27,000 tonnes and is capable of carrying over 15,000 tonnes of liquid cargo including fuels for ships and aircraft of the navy as well as fresh water.
It also has large storage space to carry up to 500 tonnes of solid cargo like victuals and ammunition. It has state-of-the-art cargo handling facilities including a 30 tonne capacity deck crane that facilitate simultaneous fuelling of multiple ships and transfer of heavy solid cargo at sea. The ship also has a credible self defence capability and an indigenous Anti-Missile Defence Chaff system. INS Shakti also boasts of fully automatic engine controls, power management and battle damage control systems.
IN NEWS: It was commissioned on 1sl October 2011 by chief of Indian naval staff, Admiral Nirmal Verma.
INS Shivalik (F47) is a guided missile stealth frigate that was built under Project 17 and was commissioned on 29th April 2010. It is the first ship in the Shivalik class multi-role stealth frigates being built for the Indian Navy. The second and third ships are INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri.
The main features of the ship (and the Shivalik class) are its stealth characteristics and the land- attack capability. The ship incorporates stealth features that make it less detectable to an adversary through radar, sonar or infrared sensors. The stealth features enable the ship to launch surprise attacks on enemy targets from a closer range than other warships. The ship carries 8 BrahMos supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles that also give it land attack capability. It also carries two Sea King helicopters for anti submarine warfare, general utility and transport.
Shivalik is the first ship to use high-strength steel developed and produced in India. It was built indigenously by the Mazgaon Dock Limited, Mumbai.
PROJECT 17A: The Shivalik class will be succeeded by the Project 17A. Under Project 17A, seven stealth multirole guided missile frigates will be built at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai and at GRSE, Kolkata.
The shipyards are being upgraded to incorporate the state-of-the-art modular construction technique, signifying the maturity of the Indian naval industry and its world class capabilities.
Lockheed Martin and Hyundai Heavy Industries have jointly responded to the Project 17A Request for Information (RFI) issued by Indian Navy. Lockheed Martin is offering the famous Aegis Combat System to be included in its Project 17A frigate proposal.
India’s 1st indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1) for the Indian Navy has been floated out at state- owned Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL). The IAC-1 is a 40,000 tonne air defence platform and will be named INS Vikrant. Due to delays in the projects, the INS is likely to enter service only in 2015. Since this is India’s first attempt at building a sea-borne aircraft carrier, a modular construction pattern was being adopted wherein complete blocks were built off site and then fitted in order to speed up the construction.
The aircraft carrier INS Vikrant will have an endurance of 8,000 nautical miles and will be to carry a maximum of 30 aircraft. INS Vikrant will have long-range surface-to-air missile (LR SAM) systems with a multi-function radar, a close-in weapon system, the most modern C/D band early air-warning radar and the V/UHF tactical air-navigational and direction finding systems. The carrier will have two take-off runways and landing will be done using arrester wires. The ship’s integration with the Indian Navy’s network-centric operations will provide for force multiplication. The Indian Navy plans to equip INS Vikrant with a mix of MiG-29K / LCA Naval Variant currently being developed by state-owned Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).
INS VINDHYAGIRI (F42)
INS Vindhyagiri (F42) is a Nilgiri class frigate of the Indian Navy. Vindhyagiri was commissioned on 8 July 1981, but capsized after colliding with a merchant vessel on 30 January 2011.
January 2011 collision: On 30th January 2011, it collided with a Cyprus flag merchant ship MV Nordlake near Sunk Rock lighthouse at the entrance of Mumbai harbour. It is reported that several civilians including family members of the crew were on board at the time of the incident. No casualties were reported.
June 2011 Haul up: After nearly five months under water below Berth No 5 in South Breakwater at the Naval Dockyard, warship INS Vindhyagiri was hauled up.
LCA TEJAS (HAL TEJAS)
The LCA Tejas (also called HAL Tejas), meaning “Radiant” in Sanskrit, is a lightweight multirole jet fighter developed by India. It is a tailless, compound delta-wing design powered by a single engine. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. Later the LCA was officially named “Tejas” by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Tejas has the delta wing configuration, with no tailplanes or foreplanes, and features a single vertical fin. It integrates technologies such as relaxed static stability, fly-by-wire flight control system, advanced digital cockpit, multi-mode radar, integrated digital avionics system, advanced composite material structures and a flat rated engine.
This fourth generation combat aircraft has Carbon Composites, light weight/high strength material for primary structures, quadruplex Digital Flight Control System, glass Cockpit and digital Avionics to give multirole capabilities with carefree maneuvering. These capabilities are further enhanced by several on-board Sensors, Communication and Navigation Systems that are supported by powerful Mission Computers and Cockpit Display System.
Powered by GE-F404 Engine, Tejas is aerodynamically optimized for good transonic manoeuvres and low supersonic drag. Tejas avionics has a unique built-in feature of monitoring health of onboard Systems and displaying appropriate warnings to the Pilot. A number of software packages as well as design and analysis tools have been developed under ‘Tejas’ Programme.
During its sea level flight trials off Goa, Tejas achieved a speed of over 1,350 km/h, thus becoming the second supersonic fighter manufactured indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited after the HAL Marut. The Tejas was cleared in January 2011 for use by Indian Air Force pilots.
UAV (UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE)
The UAV is an acronym for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, which is an aircraft with no pilot on board. UAVs can be remote controlled aircraft (e.g. flown by a pilot at a ground control station) or can fly autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or more complex dynamic automation systems. UAVs are currently used for a number of missions, including reconnaissance and attack roles.
- Target and decoy – providing ground and aerial gunnery a target that simulates an enemy aircraft or missile
- Reconnaissance – providing battlefield intelligence
- Combat – providing attack capability for high-risk missions
- Research and development – used to further develop UAV technologies to be integrated into field deployed UAV aircraft
- Civil and Commercial UAVs – UAVs specifically designed for civil and commercial applications.
DEGREE OF AUTONOMY: Some early UAVs are called drones because they are no more sophisticated than a simple radio controlled aircraft being controlled by a human pilot (sometimes called the operator) at all times. More sophisticated versions may have built-in control and/or guidance systems to perform low level human pilot duties such as speed and flight path stabilization, and simple pre-scripted navigation functions such as waypoint following.
Autonomy technology that will become important to future UAV development falls under the following categories:
- Sensor fusion: Combining information from different sensors for use on board the vehicle
- Communications: Handling communication and coordination between multiple agents in the presence of incomplete and imperfect information
- Motion planning (also called Path planning): Determining an optimal path for vehicle to go while meeting certain objectives and constraints, such as obstacles
- Trajectory Generation: Determining an optimal control maneuver to take to follow a given path or to go from one location to another
- Task Allocation and Scheduling: Determining the optimal distribution of tasks amongst a group of agents, with time and equipment constraints
- Cooperative Tactics: Formulating an optimal sequence and spatial distribution of activities between agents in order to maximize chance of success in any given mission scenario
UAV ENDURANCE: Because UAVs are not burdened with the physiological limitations of human pilots, they can be designed for maximized on-station times. The maximum flight duration of unmanned aerial vehicles varies widely. Internal combustion engine aircraft endurance depends strongly on the percentage of fuel burned as a fraction of total weight (the Breguet endurance equation), and so is largely independent of aircraft size. Solar electric UAVs hold the potential for unlimited flight, a concept championed by the Helios Prototype.
India’s defence research agency DRDO has developed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) specifically for anti-terrorist and counter insurgency operations. The 1.5 kg UAV, called ‘Netra’, is a collaborative development project between:
- idea Forge, a company formed by a group of IIT, Powai, alumni and
- one of Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Pune-based labs, Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) (R&DE) Pune.
The UAV is capable of operating in all the conflict theatres, including urban quarters, in a situation similar to that of the 26/11 terror attacks. The estimated cost of Netra is Rs.20 lakhs, but the price could vary if additional components like thermal camera are added as per the requirements of the security agencies concerned and their use.
The UAV has been designed to carry out surveillance in an area of 1.5 km Line of Sight (LOS) and has an endurance capacity of 30 minutes of battery charge. Apart from that, Netra is equipped with a resolution CCD camera with a pan/tilt and zoom to facilitate wider surveillance. It can also be fitted with thermal cameras to carry out night operations.
The operational altitude of the UAV is 200 m maximum, having a vertical take-off and landing capacity (VTOL) and is equipped with a wireless transmitter. In addition to that, the in-built fail-safe features allow Netra to return to base on loss of communication or low battery. The machine cannot be operated in rainy conditions but research is being carried out to make Netra function even during monsoon.
NISHANT, which means ‘end of darkness’, is a tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by India’s ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment) a branch of DRDO for the Indian Armed Forces. The Nishant UAV is primarily tasked with intelligence gathering over enemy territory and also for recon, surveillance, target designation, artillery fire correction, damage assessment, ELINT and SIGINT. The UAV has an endurance of 4 h 30 min.
The 380 kg Nishant UAV requires rail-launching from a hydro-pneumatic launcher and recovered by a Parachute System. Launches at a velocity of 45 m/s are carried out in 0.6 second with 100 kW power and subsequent launches can be carried out in intervals of 20 minutes. The Mobile Hydro- Pneumatic Launcher (MHPL) system mounted on a Tatra truck weighs 14,000 kg and boasts of a life cycle of 1000 launches before requiring an overhaul. Nishant is one of the few UAVs in the world in its weight class capable of being catapult-launched and recovered by using parachute, thus eliminating the need for a runway as in the case of conventional take-off and landing with wheels.