INS Kochi, the second of the three Project 15-A Kolkota class stealth destroyers will be launched on 18 September 2009. The 6800 ton ship, designed by the Directorate of Naval Design, is being built in Mumbai at the Mazagon Docks.
Of indigenous design, the Kolkota class are a follow-on, stealth version of the existing Project 15 Delhi class destroyers – INS Delhi, INS Mysore and INS Mumbai. The Kolkata class guided missile destroyer will be the latest stealth destroyer with land attack capability being built for the Indian Navy.
|INS Delhi; Image: Brian Burnell|
The first vessel, INS Kolkota is expected to join the fleet in 2010, followed by INS Kochi in 2011 and the third, as yet unnamed, in May 2012.
Four more vessels are planned under Project 15-B, with updated stealth features.
The keel of INS Kochi was laid on 25 October 2005.
Of indigenous design, 90 per cent of a Project 15-A ship is constructed through the use of local material and equipment. At per unit cost of Rs3,800 crore, the three Project 15-A Kolkata-class destroyers will cost the navy approximately Rs11,000 crore ($950 million), including the cost of long-term spare parts.
Compare this with what Australia is set to pay for the acquisition of three 6,250-ton destroyers, fitted with the Lockheed Martin Aegis radar and fire control system. The total cost of the three units will amount to Rs32,000 crore ($8 billion), at a per unit cost of approximately Rs11,000 crore.
The price of each ship is about as much as what India will pay out for all three of its Kolkota class destroyers.
With enhanced stealth features and land-attack capabilities the Kolkota class is expected to add a new dimension in naval warfare for the Indian Navy, along with the Talwar Class and Shivalik Class frigates.
Earlier, at the launch of INS Kolkota, the first of the series, Rear Admiral SKK Krishnan (retd), Mazagon Dock Ltd's chairman and managing director, had said, "Project 15-A, although conceived as a follow-on of the earlier Delhi class, will have major advances in its weapons and sensors and will be technologically far more superior."
He further added, "Jointly with the Director General of Naval Design, we have made many changes in the design of the ship. Most importantly we are building this series in a fixed price contract."
The Kolkota class ships boast of advanced stealth features, which make it less vulnerable to detection by enemy radar and will be fitted with state-of-the-art weapon systems, including the supersonic BrahMos surface-to-surface missile, the long range surface-to-air missiles (LR-SAM) and the MF-Star multi-function radar system providing accurate data on surface and air targets.
In addition, the ship's close-range defence capability will be boosted by four AK-630 rapid-fire guns and a medium range gun.
The ships will also be fitted with indigenously developed twin-tube torpedo launchers and anti-submarine rocket launchers, the NPOL developed Humsa-NG hull-mounted sonar, and two multi-role helicopters adding punch to the ship's anti-submarine capability.
The maximum speed of the ship is above 30 Knots.
The weapons package will include:
- twin 24-cell launchers carrying 48 Barak-2 vertically-launched, 70km-range, surface-to-air missiles,
- twin 16-cell launchers carrying 32 Barak-1 anti-missile missiles,
- 16 BrahMos vertically-launched MRCMs housed within a VLS cell built by Larsen & Toubro,
- and one Arsenal A-190E 100mm main gun.
Principal on-board sensors will include:
- the DRDO-developed and BEL-built Humsa-NG hull-mounted, panoramic sonar and a yet-to-be-selected low-frequency active towed array sonar.
- Also to be fitted on board each of the three destroyers will be one S-band ELTA EL/M-2248 MF-STAR active phased-array multi-purpose radar and one EL/M-2238 L-band STAR low-level medium-range surveillance radar.
- The off-board countermeasures dispensing systems will be ELBIT Systems' Deseaver (same as that on board the IN's three existing Project 16-A Brahmaputra-class destroyers).
- The integrated platform management system (IPMS) will be supplied by Canada-based L-3 MAPPS, while the MoD-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) will supply the Electronic Modular Command & Control Applications (EMCCA Mk4) combat management system, CCS Mk4 composite communications system and an ATM-based broadband integrated shipborne data network.
The destroyer will be launched by Mrs Madhulika Verma, wife of the chief of naval staff Admiral Nirmal Verma and will slip into the water using a pontoon-assisted launch technique, to be used for the first time in indigenous warship construction.
This technique helps in overcoming slipway/ draft constraints and permits launching of heavier vessels.