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Kamorta Project 28 ASW Corvette

The Indian Navy modernization program includes a new antisubmarine warfare corvette. By late December 2003, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers was developing a new corvette design that would follow the Kora-class, of which the fourth and final unit (Karmukh) was commissioned in 2004. The new corvette would displace about 2,400 tons full loaded, in the size-class of a modern frigate. With the design under development, plate-cutting started on the first unit in 2005 and up to eight units of the class could eventually be built.

The 2nd International Naval & Defence Show (IMDS-2005) held in St Petersburg provided new information on the Project 28 (P-28) ASW corvette to be designed and built by GSRE. The Russian Severnoye Design Bureau confirmed that the P-28 would be derived from from the Russian Project 20382 design. The platform was to be Russian, and most major systems would be Indian. But Contrary to earlier reports, this vessel is not an adaptation of the Russian Project 2038.0 (Steregushchy Class) design. Rather, the Indian Navy provided the basic design with a detail design by GRSE.

GRSE was slated to launch four ASW corvettes for the Indian Navy costing nearly Rs 1,700 crores apiece. Kamorta, the first in the series, was launched by Mrs Mamatha on 19 April 2010. Kamorta, after fitments, was expected to be delivered to the Indian Navy in June 2012 and Kadmatt in March 2013. The keel of the third ASW corvette, meanwhile, was laid in August 2010. The remaining two ASW corvettes scheduled to float out next from GRSE yards are Kilfan and Kavaratti.

By August 2011 the major indigenous warship building projects of the Navy running behind schedule are Project-15A, Project-17 and Project-28. The cost escalation in these projects had been about 225% for Project-15A, about 260% for Project-17 and about 157% for Project-28. In the case of P-28, the Navy was using D40S/B-quality high tensile strength steel for construction of warships; however, due to high cost of import, indigenously developed DMR 249A steel was decided to be used on P-28 ships. However, there was delay in development of indigenous steel and associated complexities related to development of new weld consumables and welding techniques. The delay in identification of suitable propulsion package to meet stealth requirement of ships and delay in development of indigenous weapons and sensors also resulted in cost escalation.

The Indian Navys modernization quest, under Project-28, to stealthily hunt and destroy lurking enemy submarines got further bolstered with the launch of the second indigenous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, Kadmatt, named after an island in the Lakshwadeep archipelago. It has been built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) at Kolkata.

INS Kadmatt, the second indigenous stealth Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette was commissioned at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 07 January 2016. The Navy took pride in the fact that about 90% of the ship is indigenous. This complies with the Navys objective and motto of Make in India. The ship had been designed by the Indian Navys in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata.

The third Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) Corvette for the Indian Navy designed under Project-28 (P-28) by the Navy's Directorate of Naval Design, built by one of India's leading shipbuilders, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), was launched in Kolkata. Named after an island - Kiltan - in the Lakshwadeep archipelago of India, the ASW Corvette was launched by Mrs Chitra Joshi from GRSE mainyard in the presence of Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral DK Joshi, Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, Rear Admiral (Retd) A K Verma and other officials from the Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces and West Bengal administration.

With nearly 90% indigenisation content aimed to be achieved in the manufacturing of the ship, the efforts made by Indian Navy and Defence Shipyards towards the national goal of indigenisation and self-reliance got a major impetus with this latest ASW Corvette launch.

The Indian Navy also got closer to acquiring the ASW platforms that would stealthily seek and destroy lurking enemy submarines as the first GRSE-built ASW Corvette, Kamorta, was expected to be delivered to Indian Navy in 2013. The remaining three ships, according to GRSE, would be delivered by 2016. The fourth ASW Corvette was to be launched in 2014. The navy would have four of these corvettes - Kamorta, Kadmat, Kiltan and Kavaratti.

INS Kiltan, the Anti Submarine Warfare Corvette of the Indian Navy, designed under Project-28, was launched on March 26, 2013. With nearly 90 percent indigenous content, the efforts made by Indian Navy and Defence Shipyards towards the national goal of indigenization and self-reliance got a major impetus with this latest ASW Corvette launch. By late 2012 the shipyard hopedi for launchers (without missiles) to be delivered soon, so that construction can continue. Construction of all 3 Kolkata class ships was largely complete by 2012, so once the Barak 8 came, all 3 should be commissioned. But the commissioning of a ship also requires training and orientation of her compliment and host of minor refinements which are done during commissioning trials. Also if some minor adjustment are required which are generic in nature then it can be applied to her follow on ships in the dockyard itself. So there would probably be a minimum of 6-months gap between commissioning of subsequent ships.

The effort to make surface-to-air missiles was aborted when the DRDO failed to deliver the Trishul. Having learned its lesson, the DRDO tied up with Israel, to design what is called the Barak 8 Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LRSAM). The Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) was originally slated to be complete by May 2011, but by early 2014 it had been delayed until December 2015. In the meanwhile some of the newer ships would have no SAM cover.

Next Generation Corvette / Project 28A

Under the Maritime Capabilities Perspective Plan 2022 (MCPP-2022) of 2008, indigenous construction component, the Navy would acquire two Cadet Training Ships, five more offshore patrol vessels (OPV) to add to the four already ordered from Goa Shipyard Ltd, three LPDs, seven Project 17A FFGs, six SSKs under Project 75(I), eight guided-missile corvettes under Project 28A (to add to the four Project 28 ASW vessels being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilding & Engineering), eight GRP-hulled MCMVs, and another integrated aircraft carrier.

By late 2013 a total 8 were said to be on order out of which 4 were under construction. Work on India's first completely indigenous next generation missile corvette, Project 28A, was said as of mid-2013 to be "underway" and the first boat which was undergoing sea trials was expected to be inducted by the end of 2013, after much delay. In the event, it seemed that the initial batch of four was all that materialized, and plans for further units awaited another day.

By January 2016 the Defense Acquisition Counsel was set to move the proposal for acquiring 6 new warships, most likely to be missile capable corvettes. Although there was no information on the specifications the navy had demanded, the first reports were that the proposed ships should have a low radar signature and solid air defenses along with Anti-ship capability. The navy also specified that it would prefer shipyards with capability of building ships of this size to build these six ships.

In October 2016 the Indian Navy began preparation to build seven 'Next Generation Corvettes' at Indian shipyards that would be capable of offensive surface to surface missile attacks, and anti-submarine warfare operations. According to specifications provided by the Indian Navy, the ship will have a range of not less than 4,000 nm, and will be capable of sailing at 27 knots. The India Navy requires all seven corvettes from 2023. The 120 meter long single hull corvettes, or small warships, will have low radar, acoustic, magnetic, visual and infra-red signatures. "The ship should carry a minimum of 8 surface-to-surface missiles and should be able to engage sea skimming missiles, flying 3-5 m above sea level, up to maximum speed of Mach 3. Active towed array sonar, two light weight torpedo launcher should be fitted to the corvettes," according to the Navy's document.

The Indian Navy specified that there should be one multi-function surveillance and threat alert radar in the warships for early warning and target identification. There were presently more than 50 ships and submarines under construction in India. India has already built four anti-submarine warfare corvettes under Project-28, the first of which was handed over to the Indian Navy in 2014. This was built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd with 90 percent indigenization. Next Generation Corvettes are capable of Offensive SSM Attack, Anti Submarine Warfare Operations, Local Naval Defence, MIO and VBSS Operations. The details are specified in the Operational/Technical Requirements. Seven NGCs are required to be delivered commencing 2023.

Functions of NGC Next Generation Corvettes capable of
  • Offensive SSM Attack
  • Anti Submarine Warfare Operations
  • Local Naval Defence, MIO and VBSS Operations.
  • The ships should have Low Radar, Acoustic, Magnetic, Visual and Infra Red Signatures and adequate NCO and communication capabilities.
  • Dimensions
  • Length -= 120m.
  • Beam - Commensurate with the length, draft and displacement of the ship.
  • Displacement As per Design
    Draught As per Design
    Hull Form Single hull construction based on proven hull form or supported by adequate model testing for resistance, propulsions, manoeuvring and seakeeping.
    Complement The ship should have a complement of 21 officers and approx. 137 sailors.
    Range & Speed
  • The ship should have a range of not less than 4000nm at sustained economical speed.
  • Max speed of the ships should not be less than 27kn.
  • The max sustained speed should not be less than 25kn.
  • The ship should also have the ability to operate economically at low speeds for sustained durations. Restriction in engine hours should not be an overbearing consideration, to enable flexibility in tasking.
  • Endurance.
  • 4000 NM at sustained economical speed, 1200 Nm at 25 Kn and sustain at sea for not less than 14 days (with 25% reserve fuel) without OTR at economical speed.
  • The ship should also have the ability to undertake astern and/or abeam fuelling from Tanker/ Capital ships to increase endurance.
  • Planned Ship Life Not less than 25 Years
    Propulsion The propulsion system should be able to provide the requisite power to weight ratio required for the ship. The propulsion system would also cater for greater endurance and operations in low speed regimes during LIMO and EEZ patrols. The main engine should be capable for achieving the rated speed of 85% MCR of the engine. The propulsion system should be suitably designed to meet the stealth requirement of the ship. The ships MCR should have automated and remote monitoring indication and control capability for all machinery including PGD.
    Auxiliaries Auxiliary systems like AC, refrigeration and ventilation, fire main, salvage, STP, ballast and other relevant auxiliary systems as per class requirements are considered necessary for meeting operational requirements to be provided. Conformity of equipment fit to latest IMO/MARPOL/MEPC regulations in force, wherever applicable.
    IPMS The Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) shall be dual redundant Gigabit Ethernet Network, distributed architecture system covering the ship machinery system. The purpose of the integrated system shall be to provide control and monitoring of the propulsion machinery and Damage control (NBCD) machinery and systems through corresponding sub-systems.
    Power Generation and Distribution An independent APMS system with switchboard should be provided to cater for 100% reserve power and redundancy vis-a-vis maximum electrical load envisaged at any operating regimes of the ship assuming an ideal loading of generators to 80% of the nominal ratings. Growth margin is to be catered as per IN policy, subject to a minimum of 10% of the estimate value. The APMS system is to be suitably interfaced with IPMS.
    Weapons
  • SSM Complex. The ship should carry a minimum of 08 SSMs.
  • SAM System. The ship should be fitted with a SAM for providing credible near 360 degree AMD coverage to the ship. It should be able to engage the sea skimming missiles, flying 3-5 m above sea level, upto max speed of 3 Mach.
  • MR Gun System. A gun with a stealth feature having range not less than 15 km and capability to carry out SU, AA and AMD engagements should be fitted. It should have the facility to be remotely operated using FCRs as well as EO (Electrical-Optical) sight.
  • CIWS. The CIWS should both radar and EO (Electro-Optically) guided to double up as LIMO weapons. The placement of CIWS should be such that it provides near 360 degree AMD protection without requirement of course alteration.
  • Chaff. The ship should be fitted with suitable chaff system to provide credible passive ECM capability against incoming missiles. It should be capable of firing chaff in all round direction in distraction, seduction, and centroid modes.
  • LIMO Weapons The ship should be fitted with the following weapons for LIMO:-
  • Two SRCG with suitable system.
  • Acoustic Warning Device.
  • High Power search lights with remote activation and Control.
  • ASW Weapons/ Sensors The following should be fitted onboard:-
  • Active Towed Array Sonar.
  • Underwater Telephone.
  • 2 X Light Weight Torpedo Launcher (03 Tubes per launcher) with FCS.
  • Torpedo Decoy with FCS.
  • Torpedo for Helo. The shall be capable for storing light weight torpedoes for fitment on Helicopter.
  • Conductivity Temperature and Depth (CTD). The ship shall be fitted with CTD to measure bathy profile.
  • Bow Mounted Sonar - One
  • Sensors
  • Passive Detection System. An Infra Red Search and Track (IRST) system should be fitted onboard. The system should be integrated with all gun mounting and should have the facility for interfacing with CMS.
  • Radars. The ship should be fitted with combination of one surface and air surveillance radar each for early warning and FCRs for target indication or one Multi-Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar for early warning and target indication.
  • Combat Management System. The ship is to be fitted with the Combat Management System (CMS) for network centric operations and quick response for operations at sea. The ship should also have a Ship Data Network (SDN), which should form the backbone for networking all weapons, sensors, SHHD equipment and integrating the CMS to enable the exchange of data between the ship borne systems. Networks like IPMS, IBS and ACCS are to be interfaced to SDN via suitable gateways, if required.
  • Aviation Facilities The ship should be fully capable to carry, stow and operate ALH/NUH and alternately a rotary UAV.
    Communication and EW Outfit The ship should have an Advance Composite Communication Suite (ACCS) integrating all communication equipments in all modes (Voice, Video and IP based data) to the communication data bus. The number of aerial should be limited by using the concept of common aerial working or similar concept. The ACCS should be fully compatible with the data link equipment. The communication and EW equipment outfit is to be as follows:
  • Sufficient V/UHF sets.
  • SATCOM (Fixed and portable) equipment on indigenous satellite as well as INMARSAT.
  • VLF (for reception of VLF broadcast and plot transfer) equipment.
  • HF sets for long distance to way communication i.e receive HF digital broadcast and transmitting high speed digital messages and plots.
  • Equipment which are part of IMO regulations.
  • An EW suite consisting of an ESM system capable of detaching emitters in the frequency range of 0.175 GHz 240 GHZ and ECM system which can be used independently or in conjunction with chaff.
  • COMINT System with direction finding in the frequency range of 30 MHz to 3 GHz, capable of detecting various types of modern radar and communication equipments waveforms.
  • Sea WorthinessThe ship should be capable of the following:-
  • Operational seaworthiness upto 4.
  • Survivability upto Sea State 9.
  • Helo Ops up to Sea State 4.
  • Transit on all headings upto Sea State 7.
  • The vessels should be built as per class 1 shock grading classification.
  • Boats The following are to be provided:-
  • One Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RIB) (7 m).
  • RIB to be re-configurable for LIMO role with provision for fitting LMG/MMG.
  • RIB is to be provided with monsoon gear covers, which can be used even when the boats are onboard.


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