SOURCE: Satyajeet Kumar/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
In Indo-Pak 1971 War, Pakistani Navy was nearly inoperable from its main port of Karachi due to onslaught of tactical offensive which was unleashed by Indian Navy when 245-tonne Soviet-designed Osa class missile boats carrying P-15 Termit (SS-N-2 Styx) AShM (Anti-Ship Missile) destroyed fuel and military supply facilities on Naval Base that for decades after the war smaller Navy around the world made beeline in Indian Naval Headquarters to study naval strategic adopted during the operations .
Since then Smaller missile boats have only become deadlier with the adoption of improved AShM Weapons over the years and Pocket Battleships which they are called are still a major part of the offensive capabilities of any modern naval warfare today in smaller navies but also in Larger Navies. India’s Proposed Next Generation missile boats are just going to become deadlier to keep regional rival Warships on their toes.
Indian Navy plans to construct Six New Next Generation missile boats to replace ageing Prabal class missile boats. 1,250-ton Next Generation missile boats will be armed with Worlds deadliest Brahmos anti-shipping missiles which can strike targets at sea and on land 800 kilometres away.
Mach 3 Capable Brahmos Cruise Missile is a fearsome Weapons system which even a Captain of an Aircraft carrier will fear due to its kinetic punch coming from its 300kg warhead and its ability to sink largest of the warships with ease. With MTCR restriction gone 800km BrahMos MK4 will be formidable Surface to Surface weapon system too which can be used to attack port and Naval facilities when required.
Next Generation missile boats will also be equipped with surface to air missiles, close-in-weapon-systems to intercept hostile missiles, the main gun and point defence guns to counter threats, potentially from terrorists operating in small fast boats.
Boats due to their small size and their ability to sneak in capabilities can attack large convoys of Warships in the high sea to create panic among formations. BrahMos + Missile Boat combination was well sought out requirement put forward by many Smaller Navies who are very much interested in acquiring BrahMos in AShM Variant but cannot afford larger warships like frigates and destroyers.
Missile Boats with Capped 290km BrahMos for Export can be instant Hit with many Smaller Navies in the region who are having difficult time modernising their navy to provide minimum deterrence against regional bullies like China with whom many countries are having disputes.
Development of Smaller and lighter BrahMos-NG will allow more missile carrying capability in later batches of the missile boats and will also lead to many medium to small boats adopted to carry deadly arsenal like BrahMos which can sink bigger warships with ease.