The Great Asian Showdown : India’s Kolkata Class v/s China’s Type-52D Destroyer

The Kolkata class is a class of stealth guided missile destroyers constructed for the Indian Navy. The class comprises three ships – Kolkata, Kochi and Chennai, all of which are built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in India, and are the largest destroyers to be operated by the Indian Navy.

The Type 052D destroyer is a class of guided missile destroyers being deployed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. Currently it is being built at two different Chinese shipyards.


The Kolkata follows the Soviet tradition of having a variety of weapons at the bow on various raised platforms. It has a 163 m long hull, which is retained from its predecessor, Delhi class.

TYPE-52D uses essentially the same hull as its predecessor, the Type-52C. Its hull is slightly smaller at 154 m, but it displaces around 7500 tons when fully loaded suggesting that it is packed to the brim with sensors and weapons and there is hardly any space left for additions of new systems.

Since the destroyers are build to have long service lives, upgrades are imminent. Kolkata class will have more room to incorporate these upgrades, making it a slightly better designed vessel.


This is the first Indian warship to use Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which has 4 static panels instead of a single rotating panel. The Israeli MF-STAR has been chosen for this role. It is mounted very high up on a specially built mast.

The primary radar, the Type-348, is similar in arrangement to the SPY-1 radars of the American AEGIS system. It is a dual band AESA, which has 4 square panels, mounted on 4 sides of the superstructure.

SENSORS: It gets interesting here. The Chinese sports a huge number of sensors and processing systems while the Indian one has just 2 major radar systems. The IAI made MF-STAR as its name suggests provides Multi-Function Surveillance, Tracking and Guidance.

There is no doubt that the Israeli systems are one of the best in service anywhere in the world. It can track air, surface targets and also acts as a fire control radar. Thus it serves the purpose of a huge number of sensors, which the Chinese lack in. They just have a huge number because their sensors are very specific capable of doing only fulfilling one role. The MF-STAR also acts as a fire control and guidance radar for the advanced Indo-Israeli SAM BARAK-8. For air search Thales LW-08 D-band air search radar fills the role.


The primary Long-Range SAM on board the Kolkata is the Barak-8, which has been jointly developed by India and Israel. This 90 km range missile is designed from the start to intercept supersonic cruise missiles, which travel a few meters above water, which makes it perfect for missile defense.

The Type-52D can carry 64 Surface to Air missiles theoretically on a pure anti-air mission. But practically, its load out will be 32-48 cells. They have quite a number of SAMs for different ranges, in the above 64. HHQ-9 LRSAM,HQ-16  MRSAM, DK-10A MRSAM and HHQ-10 SRSAM. Indians clearly has the upper hand here as they just need one system to fit in the roles of all systems listed above-the BARAK-8 and its ER variant under development. It can even double up as a point defense system if it comes down to it.


The main ASW weapon will be its 2 twin 533 mm torpedo tubes, which can fire long range, heavyweight torpedoes with a range of up to 40 km. The RBU-6000 rocket launching system complements it.
Beyond the horizon ASW helicopters provide ASW capability. The Kolkata has 2 large hangars, which can support any modern ASW helicopter.

Type -52D’s main ASW weapon is 2 triple mountings for a total of 6 lightweight torpedo tubes. These have a range of around 15 km. It also has 4, 18 tube ASW rocket launchers, which are non-reloadable and have a range of around 1 km.

Over the horizon, a single ASW helicopter provides ASW capability.

Overall, the ASW reach of Type -52D’s is comparatively lower than the Kolkata class. Kolkata does have major advantage in this aspect.


The configuration of Type -52D’s ship for surface warfare can be changed based on mission requirements due to its Universal Vertical Launchers which can fire any type of missile. An ideal layout would consist of 16 YJ-12Anti-Ship Missiles for surface warfare.

Kolkata’s main armament is a battery of 16 vertically launched BrahMos supersonic long range Anti-Ship missiles. There is space behind the 16 VLS cells for a batch of 8 more cells, but has been left empty. Depending on the mission it can be loaded with 8 more Brahmos or some other type of missile.
This is by far one of the deadliest missile armaments of contemporary warships. It can hit ships at ranges of around 300 km with extreme accuracy. The missile maintains a speed of Mach 2-3 throughout its flight, which makes it extremely difficult for even modern defense systems to shoot it down.


BRAHMOS factor: it would be pretty safe to say that nothing in Chinese arsenal can come close to Brahmos. So if the Type-052D is caught in a salvo fire of Brahmos from Kolkata, it’s the end of the PLAAN ship. Their only supersonic AShM in 052D is the YJ-83 which is similar to the russian Klub missile could pose some serious threat to the Indian ship, but adding in the BARAK-8, safe zone is considerably high for Kolkata.

Brahmos gives Kolkata class an advantage in this category, with increased range, the advantage will be even more pronounced.

SOURCE:Defense Updates-, Indian Armed Forces


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