After a delay ofÂ more thanÂ five years, the Indian Navy is set toÂ receive its third anti-submarine corvette INS Kiltan. The warship will be commissioned onÂ October 16 underÂ the Eastern Naval Command, Vishakhapatnam. This is the third Corvette ofÂ Project 28 underÂ which commercial company Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers had constructed and delivered two corvettes â€“ INS Kamorta inÂ July 2014 and INS Kadmatt inÂ November 2015 toÂ the Indian Navy.
It is yet not clear whether the third corvette will have all the critical 18 weapons and sensors which were supposed to be fitted in the four ships of Project 28.
Unlike the first two heavier corvettes made upÂ of steel superstructure, INS Kiltan is the first Corvette made upÂ of composite superstructure material imported fromÂ ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems International. The material has helped reduce the weight ofÂ the Corvette byÂ up toÂ 80 tons. The actual displacement ofÂ the first two corvettes delivered was 3384 and 3490 ton which exceeded the prescribed weight ofÂ 3170 tons.
INS Kiltan would be able toÂ sail atÂ a speed ofÂ over 24 knots inÂ comparison toÂ 23.9 knots onÂ the first and 22.8 knots onÂ the second Corvette. The ASW corvette would carry torpedoes, two rocket launchers, hello borne torpedoes and depth launchers. The Corvette was designed toÂ incorporate stealth features toÂ minimize underwater noise, radar cross-section, and infra-red emissions.
The Indian Navy had envisaged inclusion ofÂ indigenous weapons and sensors including hull-mounted sonar, active towed array sonar, advanced torpedo defense system, underwater telephone, bathy thermograph and ASW fire control system intoÂ the ASW corvettes.
It is yet not clear whether the third Corvette will have all the critical 18 weapons and sensors which were supposed toÂ be fitted inÂ the ships. The earlier two corvettes lacked capabilities toÂ detect, locate, track and classify all types ofÂ sub-surface targets likeÂ torpedoes, mines, and submarines. The corvettes also do not have protection fromÂ torpedo attack asÂ it is not fitted withÂ a launcher employed toÂ decoy the torpedo away fromÂ the ship. As the state-owned Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Dynamics Limited could not develop missile protection system inÂ time, the Corvettes do not have double layered defense alongÂ with the augmented capability toÂ defend againstÂ salvo attack.
Project 28 was approved byÂ the Indian government inÂ 2003 atÂ cost ofÂ approximately $600 million forÂ a total ofÂ four corvettes.Â But the cost was later revised toÂ approximately $1600 million inÂ 2012 due toÂ various reasons including delay inÂ finalization ofÂ the design ofÂ the Corvette byÂ the Naval Design Bureau ofÂ the Indian Navy.