On a day when the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told Armed Forces commanders to focus on India’s ‘Look East’ policy by stepping up joint exercises with friendly countries in South East Asia, details have emerged of plans to significantly expand the Navy’s war-fighting capability.
On Saturday, the Defence Acquisition Committee of the Ministry of Defence is expected to review and clear proposals worth nearly Rs. 29,000 crore for a host of new generation warships, upgrades and Naval fighting systems.
Among the most significant, is a proposal to construct an all-new class of six next-generation missile boats in India, which, once completed, will be among the most powerful vessels of their class in the world. The 1,250-ton ‘pocket battleships’ are to be armed with Brahmos anti-shipping missiles which can strike targets at sea and on land 300 kilometres away.
The boats, which will replace the Navy’s ageing Prabal class missile-boats, will also be equipped with surface to air missiles, close-in-weapon-systems to intercept hostile missiles, a main gun and point defence guns to counter threats, potentially from terrorists operating in small fast boats. They will be built in India and with the project likely to cost Rs. 13,000 crores.
Heavily armed for their size, the missile boats follow a recent trend of modern Navies building a new generation of small missile armed ships. In October last year, the Russian Navy launched 26 missiles from four small frigates and corvettes in the Caspian Sea to strike ISIS targets more than 1,500 kilometres away.
The Indian Navy, for its part, has long favoured small missile boats. In the 1971 war against Pakistan, an Indian variant of the 245 ton Russian designed Osa class missile boats caused widespread destruction on Pakistani shipping in and around Karachi harbour in the first use of anti-ship missiles in combat in the region. This was only the second time in Naval warfare that anti-ship missiles had been used successfully in combat. So successful was Operation Trident as it was known, that the Navy celebrates Navy Day every year on December 4 to mark the occasion.
It seems navy didn’t satisfied those Corvette’s they need new generation missile Boats. but here the missile vessel have 8 VLS or Tubes for Surface attack this can be added with either Nirbhay LACM ( Land Attack Cruise Missile ) or Combination of Brahmos land attack and anti shipping cruise missiles. the Nirbhay can strike target far more than 1200 kilometers with impressive loitering capability. also flies at low level and reduced RCS. so hard to be tracked by enemy air defence radars.
The RFI indicates the vessel should have reduced RCS. so it will be hard to be detected by enemy ships. and along with lower acoustic signatures to make the ship hard to be detect by sonar’s. both of these specification indicates the ship hull should be stealth in design and material.
The ship should be accomodate some 100 Navy personells include 11 officers. so the ship size provide beds and other living features and stocks food.
Range and Endurance
The ship should be attain the max speed of 35 knots. and at the cursing speed of 25 knots in any rough conditions such as sea state 4 or seat state 7 the ship should be perform it’s primary tasks as per the indicated speed. also the ship can be contentiously cruise at the speed of some 10 knots about 8 hours. and the ship should be in the sea for continuously next ten days and can able to come back to the port with 25% fuel reserve. the missile boat can also be take resupply and refuel from Tankers and Replenishment vessels to further increase the endurance and range.
As per the RFI, the vessel can carry 8 surface to surface missiles. but didn’t mentions stocks or reloading.
the vessel also equipped with PDMS ( Point Defence Missile System ) that can perform targets in all sides that is provide cover of 360 degree. can also be engage the sea skimming and low flying AShM who flies below 3 meters above sea level. here again the RFI didn’t mentions reloading, Range and Anti Aircraft capability. as of now Barak 8 is the only option for this.
the ship can also need a Gun that can engage both surface bombardment anti air and anti missile engagements. along with separate fire control radar.and mentioned the range more than some 15 kilometers I think OTO Melara 127/64 LW.
they also informed the ship need a CIWS system which can be a stand alone version that can have Fire cotrol radar and EO ( Electro Optical ). along with target destruction of 360 degree. but the CIWS information can be normal like all others like range and detection.
The ship should have Chaff flares for confusing incoming enemy missiles. known as the ECM (elctronic Counter measure ). that can provide cover to the entire ship. the ships also accomodate small fire arms such as can hold Assault rifles for sailors and heavy machine gun and Anti material rifles for special operations. the ship also can smell the sonars who are all tracking the ships and can have high powerful search lights that can be operated by remotely. that will be very useful for search and rescue missions. the ship also can have upto three big size PTZ camera’s and two more fixed camera’s that should be work both night and day.
The ship can have main Fire Control radar that can control entire Weapons and guide them the correct directions and targets. the FCR should can accommodate with the naval comabat management system which can integrate all ships under one umbrella known as C4ISR. the ship also can have radars for Air surveillance for keep the air space under watch and another radar for surface search to keep watching surface ships movements. the ship also can have the proper Navigational system quoted in the RFI.
The dimensions and ship displacement is not listed that means the ship manufacture should accommodate all the above in the ship. no matter of dimensions and displacement.
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