The Indian Navy has firmed up plans to place orders for at least 60 more warships, including aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers, to emerge as a credible maritime power. With a fleet of just 129 warships, the navy is currently plagued by a shortage of platforms. It was asked by the government in March 2003 to achieve a fleet of 140 warships.
Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said 32 warships are under construction to cater to the shortfall and ships planned for de-commissioning. However, crucial projects running behind schedule have exacerbated the problem. The navy’s stealth frigate and destroyer projects are plagued by time and cost overruns.
For instance, there is a delay of nine months in the delivery of the first of three Shivalik-class stealth frigates being built at the Mazagaon Dockyard mainly due to problems concerning weapon package and power system. The Cabinet approved the Project 17 series of multi-mission frigates in 1997.
Similarly, the Kolkata-class destroyers, follow-on to Delhi-class destroyers, are likely to be delayed due to issues pertaining to shafting and propeller system.