INS Kolkata destroyer of Project-15A was developed on the basis of the Delhi-class destroyer, but all the technology applied to the Kolkata-class destroyer is on a much higher level than the previous generation.
India is one of the most important strategic locations in the world. Located in South Asia, adjacent to the Arabian Sea and the Bengan Bay, a short distance from the Persian Gulf, Central Asia and Southeast Asia, India has been an important center for ideas, trade and religion in a thousand years.
Due to the geographical position of the country, India has always faced two powerful nations, China and Pakistan. The previous threats of India were mainly terrestrial border areas, but with the rapid development of neighbors especially China, threats to India also come from the sea and even in space. To deal with complicated problems at sea, India has given priority to developing its own fleet in recent years.
In the race to develop defense capacity, India has a very important advantage over China, they are not banned from weapons from Western countries. In the past, India mainly bought weapons from the Soviet Union or Russia, but now is pushing to diversify supplies. Therefore, when the country develops its own weapons, they can choose and combine modern technologies from various sources. However, this “globalized” approach is not without weakness. One of the best examples is the Kolkata-class destroyer project. In this video we will talk about the INS Kolkata D63, the lead ship of the Kolkata-class stealth guided-missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.
The Indian Government approved the construction of three Kolkata-class destroyers in May 2000. The Kolkata-class, also known as the Project 15A, the INS Kolkata and her two sisters were all built by Mazagon Dock Limited in India, and are the largest destroyers to be operated by the Indian Navy. The keel of INS Kolkata was laid down in September 2003 and she was launched on March 30, 2006. Her commissioning was originally planned for 2010, but this was delayed to 2014 as a result of a series of project delays. The ship was officially commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a ceremony held on August 16, 2014.
The Kolkata share similar designs to the previous Delhi-class destroyers. The hull of the destroyer is extensively modified version of the Delhi class. It has a displacement of 6,800t and a full-load displacement of 7,500t. Its range is more than 8000 nautical miles. This is one of the stealth destroyers built in India and marks a significant development for India’s shipbuilding technology.
The ship’s external design was greatly influenced by European destroyer designs, such as Germany’s F124 Sachsen-class or De Zeven Provincien-class of the Netherlands, especially the radar tower.
Kolkata’s radar system is a combination of famous names such as Israel Aerospace Industries’ active electronic scanning radar EL/M-2248 MF-STAR, serves as the primary radar sensor of the ship. It is also equipped with Thales LW-08 long range volume search radar from France and EL/M-2238 S-band STAR surveillance radar from Israel Aerospace Industries. A bow-mounted sonar HUMSA-NG are carried for sub-surface surveillance.
- FGS Braunschweig F260 – The most modern corvette of the German Navy
- Caio Duilio D554 – The Italian Orizzonte-class frigate
- INS Kamorta P28 – Indian anti-submarine stealth corvettes
Regarded as the most potent warship to have been constructed in India yet, the ship has a Combined Gas and Gas propulsion system, consisting of four powerful Zorya-Mashproekt DT-59 reversible gas turbines with a total capacity of 64,000 horsepower and can attain speeds in excess of 30 knots. The ship’s electric power is provided by four gas turbine generators and one diesel alternator, which together produce 4.5 Mega-Watts of electrical power, enough to light up a small town. The ship has a complement of 30 officers and 300 sailors.
Aviation facilities include a large flight deck, which was re-designed to handle larger helicopters than the Delhi class, and an enclosed hangar for up to two Sea King or HAL Dhruv helicopters.
The ship’s main air-defence armament is composed of four eight-cell vertical launching systems allowing for up to thirty-two Barak 8 air defence missiles. In addition, four AK-630 CIWS are fitted for close-in defence.
The most frightening weapon of Kolkata destroyer is the PJ-10 BrahMos anti-ship cruise missile. The BrahMos missiles are fitted into a 16-cell Universal Vertical Launcher Module allowing one missile per launch silo, and all 16 missiles can be fired in salvo. BrahMos missile has a top speed of Mach 2.5 to Mach 2.8 and a maximum range of 290km.
Perhaps the most distinctive and noticeable armament of the Kolkata class is its 76mm naval gun located forward of the bridge. The 76mm gun provides limited anti-shipping capability and anti-air capability in addition to its naval gun fire-support role for land based operations. For anti-submarine warfare, the Kolkata class are equipped with a torpedo launching system via four torpedo tubes and two RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers.
It can be said that Kolkata is a combination of the most modern technologies that India can afford. However, combining many technologies from different sources poses a risk that if a supplier has problems, the whole project may be affected. And in fact, the Kolkata program has met many obstacles, leading to a delay in handing over to the Indian navy.
This delay comes from many different supplies, such as military standard steel from India, engines from Ukraine, or Barak missile system from Israel. Also frequent changes in design and technical requirements also contribute to this delay.In the near future, if India wants to take advantage of its advantages, it needs to improve its capacity to manage large, complex projects like Kolkata and avoid repeating the same mistakes. At that time, Indian-developed domestic weapons could outperform rivals like Pakistan or China.