Project-17A: India’s Trump Card against Chinese Ships in Indian Ocean
Indian Navy is recently pacing forward in terms of modernization lagged down over the years. With Chinese presence increasing in the Indian Ocean region, Indian Navy is bound to protect her nation’s interests.
Indian Navy achieved significant arsenal boost when in 2012, it commissioned into service the first series of Stealth Frigates constructed in India. The project was named ‘Project 17’ and the government soon realised the importance of Stealth Frigates and gave a go-ahead for a meaner, stealthier Shivalik class ship- the ‘Project 17A’.
The Project 17A-class frigate is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy. A total of seven ships will be built at Mazagon Dock and GRSE, the construction of the first ship started in 2017 and the first ship is expected to delivered by 2022. The anticipated cost for each vessel is above ₹4,000 crore (US$613 million) and the total deal is expected to be worth more than ₹6,400 crore (US$980 million). The vessel will incorporate the latest stealth features.
The experience gained in designing the Shivalik-class frigates (Project 17) will be applied to the Project 17A, this class will improve upon the earlier class in terms of stealth. They will have covered mooring deck and the number of antennae on the ship will be reduced by using EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA radar, the P17A will also feature better roll stabilisation and a discreet visual profile.
The weapon platform in the P17A ships will be compact and they will be armed with the Barak 8 and BrahMos, the weapon systems will be flush deck mounted allowing vertical launch of missiles from under the deck. The crew complement will be reduced from the existing 257 (including 35 officers) to about 150 by using high levels of automation, which will reduce the operational costs by around 20 per cent and result in higher operational availability of the warships,the construction times will be reduced and productivity will improved by using modular integrated construction.The ship will have a displacement of 6,670 tonnes. Fincantieri has signed a contract with Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) to provide technical advice within the Project 17A.
The platform will be powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, and two MAN 12V28/33D STC diesels driving two shafts in a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) arrangement. Top speed is given as 28 kt, while range is 5,500 n miles at 16–18 kt or 1,000 n miles at 28 kt.
The Project 17A-class frigate is follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.A total of seven ships will be built at Mazagon Dock and GRSE Kolkata.The anticipated cost for each vessel is above 4000 crore rupees (US$628 million) and the total deal is expected to be worth more than 48000 crore rupees (US$8 billion)
The Indian Navy’s (IN) three Shivalik-class frigates are the first multirole stealth warships ever to be developed and constructed indigenously by India.The INS Shivalik and her sister ships, INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, are the largest and most advanced frigates in the IN’s fleet.Since being commissioned in 2010, these silent and state-of-the-art deadly warships have excelled in all parts of naval warfare.
All about the Indian Navy’s Shivalik-class frigates employed MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D radar, an air search radar, HUMSA (hull-mounted sonar array) and ATAS / Thales Sintra towed array systems, BEL Aparna fire control radar and BEL Ajanta weapons control radar.
Offensive weapons:-The Shivalik-class frigates carry eight vertically-launched BrahMos supersonic long-range anti-ship and anti-surface cruise missiles which have a range of 300-km.
The Shivalik-class frigates carry 32 Barak-1 short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM) co-developed by India and Israel.The Barak-1 missiles can intercept warplanes and incoming missiles up to 12-km away.It also carries 24 Shtil-1 SAMs having a range of 40-km.The warships possess four AK-630 6-barreled guns as close-in weapon systems as the second-layer defense against incoming missiles.
The keel for the first lead class ship of this class will be laid by late 2017 and the construction reportedly will start in 2018 and the first ship is likely to be delivered by 2023 for Sea Trials. Both shipyards will be using modular integrated construction to reduce construction time and improve productivity.
BARAK-8 : The ship will be armed with launchers for the Indo-Israeli Barak-8 or Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) missile system, two of which are mounted forward while another two are installed with two clusters mounted forward and two mounted abaft the funnel, and one eight-cell BrahMos missile launcher unit located forward.
BRAHMOS: The nightmare of foreign warships, the Indo-Russian BRAHMOS will be a sure factor in the series. A 8 cell VLS (Vertical Launch System) would be provided to rain terror over enemy with Brahmos’s speed and accuracy.
Anti-submarine weapons comprise a pair of rocket launchers that are an indigenous modification of the RBU 6000, and a pair of triple-tube torpedo launchers.Armament includes a 76 mm Oto Melara gun and a pair of AK-630M close-in weapon systems sited at aft above the hangar. The ships will be equipped with two anti-torpedo decoy systems, and what appear to be four decoy launchers.
It would be interesting to see Ka-226 helos to fit the role of future SAR helos onboard the Indian Navy ships.
Reference Wikipedia, Janes.com