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Kamorta Project 28 ASW Corvette - Design

Displacing around 2500 tons and with a length of around 110 meters, this vessel is a corvette in name only - it is actually closer to a small frigate. Critics argue that the Kamorta vessls are poorly armed for 3400 ton ships. Proponents contend the Indian Navy needed a ship which had the armament of a 1200 ton corvette, but the endurance of a 3400 ton frigate - it is not under-armed, but over-sized. By 2017, it was expected to receive a SAM package consisting of 16-32 VL-Mica missiles with a range of 15 km and an active seeker. This system can intercept sea-skimming and supersonic cruise missiles and protect the Kamortas from submarine launched cruise missiles.

According to one account, the P-28 would displace 1,800 tons light, with dimensions of 94 m length, 13m beam, and 3.5 m draft. The CODAG propulsion system, comprising twin gas turbines, twin diesel engines and twin diesel generators would drive two-shaft, controllable-pitch propellers. The corvette would have a maximum speed of 27 Knots, range of 4,000nm, endurance of 15 days and a crew compliment of 85. The helicopter deck would be able to house either the dipping sonar-equipped Ka-28PL or Naval HAL Dhruv.

Armament details were not entirely clear, though it seemed to include an OTOBreda 76/62 main gun, twin 12-barrelled RBU-6000 ASW mortar launchers, twin ILAS triple-tube torpedo launchers for launching Franco-Italian MU-90 lightweight torpedoes, and one 16-cell Israeli Barak-1 VLS anti-missile defence system.

By one account they would include an eight-cell vertical launched Klub-N 220km-range supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, and another account mentions Two AK-630M CIWS (Close In Weapon System). Russia's AK630, with associated MR-123 ('Bass Tilt') radar, is a compact mounting weighing only 3.7 tonnes (loaded) and the Gatling-principle 30 mm gun of 5000 rounds/min and a range of up to 2.5 nm (five km).

Yet another report from 2007 claims that the Novator 3K54TE Granat (SS-N-21 'Sampson') had been selected for India's latest Project 28 corvettes. This sub-sonic weapon is part of the Club family and is unusual in being vertically launched as well as weighing a whopping 3665 kg, yet its range is only 120 nm (220 km). This weapon uses inertial navigation and active radar homing Active radar homing is a missile guidance method in which a guided missile contains a radar transceiver and the electronics necessary for it to find and track its target autonomously. NATO brevity code for an active radar homing missile launch is Fox Three.

The Barak Weapon System seemed to be the favored missile, over the Shtil, in newer IN ships. The missile features command-to-line-of-sight guidance with Elta EL/M-2221GM weapon control radars and is housed in vertical cell clusters which may be inserted in the hull or superstructure or distributed around the deck. The missile has a range of 6.5 nm (twelve km) and, like many, it can be used not only against manned or unmanned aircraft but also to help shield against anti-ship missiles.

The 76-mm gun offered the optimum between low mass and high effect with the twelve-kg rounds being useful not only in the ASuW role but also in the Naval Gun Fire Support (NGFS) role at ranges up to 10.75 nm (20 km) while the high rate-of-fire (85 rounds/min) provides a degree of AAW capability. Corvette customers increasingly select the Super Rapid version of the mounting with improved feed and hoist systems, which permit 120 rounds/min.

Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subacquei (Wass) and DCNS combined efforts to produce the MU-90 Impact torpedo to be used in India's Project 28s and possibly by Poland's Gawrons. This has a maximum range of 7.25 nm (13.5 km) with a maximum speed of up to 50 knots and a more advanced guidance system than the A 244/S which would probably be used by India's Project 28. This weapon is licence-produced by Bharat Electronics in India.

The EMDINA combat management system (CMS) was originally co-designed by the Indian Navy's Weapons and Electronic Systems Engineering Establishment (WESEE) and TATA Power as part of project MEDINA. This centralised CMS architecture has been adopted for the Navy's three Project 17 guided-missile frigates (FFG), three Project 15A guided-missile destroyers (DDG), and the four Project 28 ASW guided-missile corvettes.

Garden Reach Shipbuilding & Engineering Ltd (GRSE) showcased a representative scale model of the Project 28 ASW corvette at the 11th Defence Services Asia exhibition (DSA 2008) held in the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur from April 21 to 24 2008. The frigate's main mast carried the 2.5-tonne Revati radar, an EL/M-2221 STGR fire-control radar illuminator for the Barak-1, as well as a BEL-built Shikari (THALES' Flycatcher) fire-director of the main gun. The first four planned Project 28 ASW corvettes, each costing Rs7 billion, would also have on board the ELBIT Systems-built Deseaver decoy dispensers onboard.

The ASW corvettes, deemed Kamorta class ships- with more than 80 per cent indigenous content and capable of fighting under NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) environment, are designated as super-sophisticated frontline warships with stealth features. The 109-metre long and 12.8-metre wide ship with an approximate displacement capacity of 3,000 tons can achieve a maximum speed of 25 knots. The ship, powered by four 3888 KW diesel engines at 1,050 rpm, has an endurance to cover nearly 3,450 nautical miles at 18 knots and can carry a helicopter on board. Each ship can accommodate 17 officers and 106 sailors. The anti-submarine warfare capability is largely achieved due to the low signature of radiated underwater noise. The ship having indigenous weapon and sensor suites is equipped with super-rapid gun mounting, anti-aircraft guns, torpedo launcher, rocket and chaff launchers. The ship fittings include early warning, navigation, fire control radars and undr-water sensors with integrated communication and electronic warfare systems.

This was the first ship in the country built with a composite superstructure. The superstructure made of carbon fibre composite material has been successfully integrated with the main hull of the ship. Besides reducing the top weight, it would provide improved stealth features and reduce life cycle maintenance costs. The ship's hull form is highly efficient with excellent sea-keeping and manoeuvrability characteristics having an overall length of 109 metres. The ship can cut through the sea at a very high speed of 25 knots. Hull of the ship is built with warship-grade high tensile indigenous steel.

The ship's advanced stealth features would make her less susceptible to detection and help in effective deployment of soft kill measures. The ship would be fitted with complete indigenous state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including a medium range gun, torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers and close-in weapon system. These ships are also equipped with a Bow mounted Sonar and are capable of deploying a helicopter, adding considerable punch to the ship's anti-submarine capability. These ships also feature an advanced Integrated Platform Management System for controlling and co-ordinating the propulsion, auxiliary and power generation equipment.

The new P-28 ASW corvettes also mark many firsts including introduction of the 'rail-less helo traversing system' to handle a helicopter on board the ship, foldable hangar door, use of indigenous DMR 249A steel and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) superstructure integrated with the steel hull of the ship.

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