Delhi class represents a generation of powerful surface warships of the Indian Navy after the cold war.

With a full load displacement of up to 6,200 tons, the Delhi class used to be India’s largest warship until Kolkata entered service. Delhi was laid down in 1987 and launched in 1991 but was not commissioned for another six years. Mysore was commissioned in 1999 and Mumbai in 2001. These are very much multinational platforms, with Russian Kashmir surface-to-air missiles, Canadian sonar mountings, Dutch radar, and French and Italian electronics systems.

Three guided missile destroyers were built by Mazagon Dock Limited, known as part of “Project 15”, planned in 1980. The break-up of Soviet Union affected the supply of weapon systems, contributing to a three-year delay in the construction of vessels. The design of the ship was based primarily on the Soviet Kashin-class destroyer, and the design was also taken from Godavari and Sovremenny classes.

Delhi’s design is thought to be quite similar to the Rajput-class destroyer, the fore funnel is placed on the port side, while the aft funnel is placed on the starboard. The 6200-ton destroyer is 163m long, the beam is 17m and the draft is 6.5m. She is equipped with four Zorya-Mashproekt DT-59 gas turbines, driving two controllable-pitch propellers. The propulsion system provides 82,820 horsepower, enabling the ship to reach a maximum speed of 32 knots, a range of up to 4500 nautical miles at 18 knots.

At the stern, there is a spacious helicopter landing deck and two hangars, to accommodate operations of two helicopters. The helicopters could be the Dhruv advanced light helicopter or the new Chetak helicopter of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, or the AgustaWestland Sea King helicopter, primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare missions. The ship can accommodate 350 people, including 40 officers.

For air defence role, the Delhi is fitted with 9K-90 Uragan air-defence system comprising a pair of 3S-90 single-arm launchers and 9M38M1 Shtil missiles. One launcher is installed forward of the bridge and the other atop the dual helicopter hangar. MR-775 Fregat-MAE radar provides target designation and 6 MR-90 Orekh illuminators are used for fire control. The system can track twelve targets and engage a maximum of six tracked targets simultaneously.

INS Delhi Class Destroyer during the ‘Defence of Gujarat Exercise’.

Close-in weapon system consisting of four AK-630 rotary cannons guided by two MR-123-02 fire-control radars. The surface missile battery of Delhi includes 16 Kh-35E Uran missiles placed in four quadruple sloped launchers. The missiles are guided by a Granit Garpun B fire-control radar. A single 100mm AK-100 gun guided by MR-184 fire-control system is also fitted.

A quintuple 533-millimetre trainable torpedo launcher capable of firing SET 65E active and passive homing torpedo is placed in between the funnels. A pair of 12-tubed RBU-6000 213mm anti-submarine rocket launchers fitted in front of the bridge can engage submarines up to a range of 6 km. Detection is provided by BEL HUMVAD, an indigenous hull-mounted sonar with a variable depth transducer that offers better performance in the waters around India.

The electronic warfare suite consists of BEL Ajanta Mark 2 for electronic support measures, Elettronica TQN-2 jammer and two PK-2 chaff launchers of Russian origin. BEL Shikari combat display and management system, a derivative of Italian IPN-10, integrates weapon systems of diverse origin. In the near future, the destroyer will be modified to equip BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles.

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