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India to get stealth warships by 2008

The Shivalik class frigates reflect a trend towards stealth, marking a watershed in naval design history, says Cdr Vaidyanathan.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 22:52 IST

Upgrading the navy’s stealth capabilities, the first indigenously designed stealth frigate will be ready for induction into the force as per schedule in 2008-09 when Project 17 comes to fruition.

Commodore KN Vaidyanathan, principal director, directorate of naval design (DND), on Tuesday said that the Shivalik class stealth frigates, under construction, reflected a trend towards stealth and marked a watershed in navy’s design history.

The 4,900 tonne warship incorporates advanced signature suppression and management features making it almost invisible to detect by radar, sonar or other detection systems. Vaidyanathan was briefing reporters ahead of the golden jubilee of the Corps of Naval Constructors on November 17.

The corps has designed over 80 ships and submarines after it was raised in 1956, with the Godavari class, a modified version of the Leander class frigates, representing the first major warship design in the mid-1970s. 

He said that Project 15A codename for the Kolkata class of destroyers, a follow-on of the Delhi class, was also on track at the Mazagon Dockyard Limited and the first of the three warships would be offered to the navy in 2010-12.

The Kolkata class also employs stealth technology in terms of lower radar cross-section compared to the P15 or the Delhi class.

Vaidyanathan said that the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) was on course to develop a new corvette design that would be a follow on of the Kora-class, the final unit of which was commissioned in 2004.

The new anti-submarine warfare corvette, with a displacement of 2,500 tonnes, would be ready for induction in 2009-11. An order for four units has been placed at the shipyard.

Vaidyanathan said that the indigenous aircraft carrier, the DND’s largest design project, posed a technical challenge involving complexities in structural design, aviation facilities, propulsion system and their integration, but it was progressing as per schedule.

The navy has already placed an order for three additional stealth frigates from Russia as a follow on order of the Talwar class. It has awarded contracts to build 35 vessels to state-owned shipbuilders.