INS Shivalik and INS Kadmatt are India’s newest indigenously designed and built multi-role warships, and are part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet
India’s Naval Strike Group, led by INS Shivalik, arrived in Muara, Brunei on Sunday for interactions and bilateral exercises with the Royal Brunei Navy. This is an activity under India’s “Act East” Policy, which aims to strengthen the strong ties shared by the two navies, and will be another step towards strengthening the India-Brunei defense relationship.
A special feature of Shivalik is that the entire aerodynamic shape of the ship is researched and designed by Indian Navy engineers. The ship has a very modern design style with high stealth capability, a trend that is prevalent in the development of warships today in the world. It is also seen as a symbol of self-development of military technology with India’s domestic potential.
The Shivalik frigate has a length of 142.5 m (468 ft) overall, a beam of 16.9 m (55 ft) and a draft of 4.5 m (15 ft), crew of 257 personnel including 35 officers. In addition to structural design, thermal, and acoustic stealth features make them less detectable to the enemy. Radar systems and engines have been modified to reduce and avoid detection and noise levels. The stealth capabilities of the ship is rated on par with those of the Swedish Visby-class corvette and French La Fayette-class frigate. Shivalik’s infrared signature is even lower than the two types of warships mentioned above.
Shivalik is the first Indian naval vessel to use a combined diesel or gas propulsion system. Two Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesel engines deliver 7,600 shaft horsepower and two GE LM2500 gas turbine engines deliver 33,600 shaft horsepower. The propulsion system gives a maximum speed of 32 knots and 22 knots with diesel engines in fuel economy mode.
The frigate is mounted a MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D air search radar, 4 MR-90 Orekh radars for gunboats and surface-to-air missile systems. These systems are supplied by Russia. One ELTA EL/M-2238 STAR long-range aerial surveillance radar, two ELTA EL/M-2221 STGR radar guidance systems. These two types of radar are developed by Israel Aerospace Industries Group. There is also a BEL APARNA electronic warfare system manufactured by Bharat Electronics of India.
The power of Shivalik-class frigates is a combination of weapons systems from Russia, Italy, Israel, and India. These included an Italian-made Oto Melara 76mm gunboat. This type of super rapid gun has an average rate of fire from 85 to 120 rounds per minute. Shtil-1 multi-channel medium range missiles with a range of 30km, arranged in front of the bow, a number of 24 missiles.
The ships are equipped with two AK-630 close-in weapon systems, a naval gun model researched and developed by the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The AK-630 has a very high rate of fire, up to 5000 rounds per minute. Another weapon system is also of Soviet origin, the two RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers, with 12 barrels each. The 12 launchers on the RBU-6000 are arranged in horseshoe shapes and the fire is controlled by the Burya system. There are also two 533 mm DTA-53-956 tubes for heavyweight torpedoes for engaging submarines and surface warships. Shivalik’s anti-submarine capability is also supported by two HAL Dhruv or Sea King anti-submarine helicopters. In addition, ships can also deploy two Russian Ka-31s.
In particular, Shivalik-class frigates have powerful anti-ship capabilities thanks to the vertical launch system with 8 Klub-N anti-ship cruise missiles or 8 BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missiles. With the supersonic speed of BrahMos, most of the defense systems on the warships were rendered useless.