In a recent interview, Commodore PR Hari, the Chairman & Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd, hinted at the Indian Navy’s ambitious plan to acquire next-generation Corvettes and Project 18 stealth destroyers. These future naval assets are expected to bolster India’s maritime capabilities significantly.
The Indian Navy is contemplating an order worth Rs 36,000 crore for next-generation Corvettes, which may replace vessels like INS Kiltan and INS Kavaratti. While the Kamorta-Class corvettes are proficient in anti-submarine and anti-surface operations, they have certain limitations in the anti-surface role. To address this gap, the Indian Navy is exploring more effective corvette options capable of excelling in anti-surface operations.
Key Features of Next-Generation Corvettes
- Advanced Capabilities: The new corvettes are expected to feature advanced capabilities that enhance their anti-surface operations.
- Quantity: The Indian Navy anticipates acquiring eight of these advanced corvettes as part of the project, with an estimated cost of Rs 36,000 crore.
- Size and Firing Capacity: These corvettes will be of similar weight class to their Kamorta-Class counterparts but will possess parallel firing capabilities.
- Radar System: The primary radar for these corvettes will be the EL/M 2248 MF-STAR S-band radar by IAI Elta.
- Firepower: They are set to be armed with 8 cells of BrahMos surface-to-air missiles, along with 2 Quad 533 mm torpedo tubes for anti-submarine missions. The corvettes will also be equipped with either Barak-8 or VLSR SAM missiles for defensive purposes.
- Stealth and Sensors: The next-generation corvettes will have a stealthier design and come equipped with an advanced electronic warfare suite and a state-of-the-art sonar system.
Project 18 Stealth Destroyers
Commodore PR Hari also mentioned the ‘request for proposal’ for Project 18, the next-generation stealthy destroyer class by the Indian Navy, expected to be placed in 2025-26. These destroyers are poised to be India’s largest and will compete with some of the biggest operational destroyer ships globally, such as the Chinese Type 055 destroyers.
Key Features of Project 18 Destroyers
- Size and Displacement: The Project 18 destroyers are expected to have a maximum displacement of 12,000 tonnes.
- Vertical Launching System (VLS): These destroyers will likely be equipped with 120 to 140 VLS cells, serving both defensive and offensive objectives.
- Cost and Investment: The estimated cost of Project 18 is Rs 80,000 Crore ($9.65 billion). In preparation for this project, MDL has already ordered a floating dock worth Rs 500 crore.