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Indian Navy's Second Project 28 Kamorta-class Stealth ASW Corvette INS Kadmatt Ready for Induction

Discussion in 'Indian Defence Forum' started by Chanakya's_Chant, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Chanakya's_Chant

    Chanakya's_Chant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Should China Worry? India Prepares To Launch Submarine Killers
    By: Stephen Paul Brooker

    In the midst of an arms buildup, the Indian navy is preparing to launch its newest corvette optimized for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). This comes at a time when fears in New Delhi over Chinese naval incursions and activity in the Indian Ocean are at an all-time high. Overall New Dehli is spending upwards of $61 billion on expanding the navy by half its current size over the next 12 years. While still lagging behind China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) in size, the Indian Navy is making great advances which should ensure its supremacy in the Indian Ocean in the years to come.

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    INS Kadmatt during its launch in late 2011

    Kamorta-Class ASW Corvettes

    Currently INS Kadmatt, the second ship of the Kamorta-class is finishing its final outfitting near Kolkata and will be commissioned in the coming months. Last August, the INS Kamorta, the first of a four ship class was launched from Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. The remaining two ships of the class will be commissioned in 2016 and 2017.

    Weighing in at 3,500-tonnes, the Kamorta-class or Project 28, is meant to fill the role of ASW corvettes, a role that has not been fulfilled since Soviet-era Petya III-class corvettes were decommissioned in 2003. With 109 crew, the class is capable of speeds up to 30 kt and has an operating range of 1500 nautical miles. Its ASW armament comes in the form of RBU-6000 rocket launchers and twin, 533mm torpedo launchers which can fire the advanced Eurotorp MU 90 Impact lightweight torpedo. This is in addition to its 76mm cannon and close-in weapon systems (CIWS).

    Unfortunately, there are several acquisition projects that need to be finished before the Kamorta-class can fully realize its ASW potential. The ASW helicopter the class is supposed to field has been delayed by over four years due to procurement issues. Additionally, the advanced array towed sonar it is to be equipped with has been diverted to use on Indian Navy frigates and destroyers. India is acquiring the technology to construct the system from Germany’s Atlas Elektronik but it will be sometime before it can be fitted to ships of the class.

    The Kamorta-class represents a significant leap for India since nearly 90% of it is indigenously sourced; part of a concerted effort on the part of New Delhi to become self-reliant in military hardware. Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley speaking in the wake of the commissioning of the INS Kamorta said, "It's time we cease to remain the world's largest buyer of defense equipment and become an important manufacturer". Regardless of its current problems, theKamorta-class fills a role that for too long has been neglected in the Indian Navy. More importantly, attention to ASW comes just as China is increasing its submarine activity in the Indian Ocean.

    Other ASW Projects

    Earlier this month, a significant step was taken in overhauling India’s ageing submarine fleet. The Indian defense firm, Pipavav Defense and Offshore Engineering signed an agreement with the Russian shipyard, Zvyozdochka to overhaul nine submarines of theSindhughosh-class, a version of the Russian Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine. These are the most modern diesel-electric submarines India possesses but are ageing and are bested in capability by the newest submarines from China. Zvyozdochka has in its history carried out upgrades and refurbishment of more than 120 submarines.

    In 2013, a submarine of the class, the INS Sindhurakshak exploded in the Mumbai Naval dockyard and sank. This event which claimed the lives of 18 sailors brought widespread criticism upon the Indian Navy over safety issues. Right now, the Indian Navy is deciding on whether or not to salvage the submarine or turn it into a training vessel for naval divers.

    Causes for India's Naval Buildup

    The buildup of the Indian Navy is primarily aimed at preventing China from establishing a solid foothold in the Indian Ocean. PLAN ships have increasingly been making forays into the Indian Ocean and docking in ports of India’s neighbors. This is causing concern in New Delhi where it is feared that China is attempting to increase its influence and presence in the Indian Ocean where India has been the dominant power. Chinese officials have repeatedly denied any hostile intentions though have also said that Indian should not consider the Indian Ocean as its own backyard.

    For New Delhi, more unsettling than PLAN warships entering the Indian Ocean, is the presence of PLAN submarines. In May, a PLAN Type 041 submarine for the first time docked in Karachi, Pakistan. China immediately downplayed the event saying that PLAN activities in the Indian Ocean such as this routine port visit are “open and transparent” and that they are not directed at any nation. Last September, a PLAN submarine docked in Colombo, Sri Lanka and several weeks later in November another PLAN submarine along with a warship docked in Sri Lanka. Though these events are recent, India has for some time understood that its ASW capabilities are lacking, thus necessitating the acquisition of the Kamorta-class and other ASW platforms,

    Outlook

    In acquiring the Kamorta-class and taking steps to upgrade its submarine fleet, the Indian Navy has accepted its own ASW deficiencies and taken steps to rectify them. Unfortunately, the Indian defense establishment is regarded as slow-moving and projects are often repeatedly delayed and this can be seen here. Regardless, the Indian Navy will in a couple of years have the capabilities to check PLAN submarine incursions in the Indian Ocean.

    Source:- Should China Worry? India Prepares To Launch Submarine Killers
     
  2. Chanakya's_Chant

    Chanakya's_Chant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Navy Experimenting With Composite Superstructure for Warships
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    INS Kamorata Under Construction

    The Navy is building two Anti- Submarine Warfare Corvettes using carbon fibre composite material from Sweden for the first time as it goes beyond using steel for warships.

    Warships are traditionally made using stainless steel but the new carbon fibre composite superstructure, imported from Swedish shipyard Kockums, not only makes the warship lighter but also makes it difficult for the enemy to spot.


    Being built by defence PSU Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) in Kolkata, INS Kiltan and INS Kavaratti are named after islands in the Lakshwadeep archipelago.

    The Kamorta-class corvettes would be delivered to the Navy within 2017.

    "These are the first ships where such a technology is being used in India. Stealth is the most important feature of composite material as it is less susceptible to detection unlike steel," Commodore Ratnakar Ghosh, Director (shipbuilding), GRSE, told PTI.

    The ship's superstructure is made of composite material while the remaining part including hull uses steel.

    The new technology with extremely low radar cross-section has been pioneered by Swedish Navy which uses Visby-class corvettes, made entirely of composites.

    Other nations have used fiberglass reinforced plastic (FBR) for similar stealth features.


    Divided into smaller blocks, parts of the composite superstructure came from the Swedish shipyard and were assembled and integrated with the main hull under supervision of Swedish experts in Kolkata.

    "We have reduced the weight of the superstructure by about 100 tonnes using this technology. This will allow the Navy to add more payload weapons. It will also be an added advantage when the ship has to go for modernisation after a few years," the official said.


    Composites are also anti-corrosives, a feature needed to guard against corrosion by sea water.

    To make it fire resistant, parts of the superstructure have been super-insulated.

    However, the cost of this new technology is higher as compared to steel.


    "The weight of the superstructure should be around 30 per cent less. The cost is higher but that is offset against the long term advantages it offers," Ghosh said.

    GRSE's Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral (Retd) A K Verma said in future they would tie-up with some India- based contractors who can supply them such composites.

    "We have to look for people who can make such type of composites in India as per our specifications. We are training our people also," he said.

    Aimed at enhancing the Navy's underwater warfare capabilities, the warships will be fitted with indigenous state-of-the-art weapons and sensors.

    With an overall length of about 110 metres, the ships can cut through the sea at a very high speed of 25 knots.

    Source:- Navy Experimenting With Composite Superstructure for Warships | Apr 26,2015

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