In a recent interview, Commodore PR Hari, the Chairman & Managing Director of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) Ltd, unveiled the Indian Navy’s strategic intent to procure next-generation Corvettes and embark on Project 18 stealth destroyers. These visionary endeavors are set to elevate India’s maritime capabilities significantly.
The Indian Navy is contemplating a substantial order valued at Rs 36,000 crore for the next-generation Corvettes, potentially replacing vessels like INS Kiltan and INS Kavaratti. While the Kamorta-Class corvettes excel in anti-submarine and anti-surface operations, there exists a need for more potent corvettes specialized in anti-surface missions.
Key Features of Next-Generation Corvettes:
- Advanced Capabilities: These future corvettes will feature advanced capabilities to enhance their effectiveness in anti-surface operations.
- Quantity: The Indian Navy plans to acquire eight of these advanced corvettes as part of the project, with an estimated investment of Rs 36,000 crore.
- Size and Firing Capacity: These corvettes will share a similar weight class with their Kamorta-Class counterparts but will boast 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: Armed with 8 cells of BrahMos surface-to-air missiles and 2 Quad 533 mm torpedo tubes for anti-submarine missions, these corvettes will also deploy either Barak-8 or VLSR SAM missiles for defensive purposes.
- Stealth and Sensors: The next-gen corvettes will feature a stealthier design and cutting-edge electronic warfare and sonar systems.
Commodore PR Hari also shed light on the forthcoming ‘request for proposal’ for Project 18, India’s next-generation stealthy destroyer class. This request is expected to be initiated in 2025-26, positioning these destroyers among the largest operational destroyer ships globally, competing with counterparts like the Chinese Type 055 destroyers.
Key Features of Project 18 Stealth Destroyers:
- Size and Displacement: Project 18 destroyers are anticipated to reach a maximum displacement of 12,000 tonnes, making them formidable assets in the Indian Navy’s fleet.
- Vertical Launching System (VLS): These destroyers are likely to incorporate 120 to 140 VLS cells, catering to both defensive and offensive capabilities.
- Cost and Investment: The estimated cost of Project 18 stands at Rs 80,000 Crore ($9.65 billion). In preparation for this monumental endeavor, MDL has already placed an order for a floating dock worth Rs 500 crore.
These ambitious projects underscore India’s commitment to enhancing its naval capabilities and securing its maritime interests in an evolving geopolitical landscape. The acquisition of advanced corvettes and the development of Project 18 stealth destroyers are poised to significantly bolster India’s naval power projection capabilities, ensuring it remains a formidable force in the Indian Ocean region.