The third of four indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes “INS Kiltan” under Project 28 (Kamorta class) was commissioned into the Indian Navy earlier this week. The ship which derives its name from one of the islands in Aminidivi group of the strategically located Lakshadweep and Minicoy Group of Islands is more than 81% indigenous with state-of-art equipment and systems to fight in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions.
Designed by the Indian Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, Kiltan portrays the growing capability of the Indian Navy, GRSE and the nation in becoming self-reliant through indigenisation, thus accentuating our national objective of ‘Make in India’. A host of small and medium scale industries have contributed towards building this fine ship and P-28 weapons and sensors suite is predominantly indigenous and showcases the nation’s growing capability in this niche area. It is India’s first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features, using high grade steel (DMR 249A) produced at state-owned Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) to lower top weight and maintenance costs. With a displacement of 3500 tonnes, the sleek and magnificent ship spans 109 meters in length and 14 meters at the beam and is propelled by ‘Combination of Diesel and Diesel (CODAD)’ propulsion system of four diesel engines to achieve speeds in excess of 25 knots and has an endurance of around 3,500 nautical miles.
Weapons and sensors have been installed/ interfaced on this composite superstructure for the first time on a major warship. Composite superstructure fitted on INS Kiltan ushers the usage of advanced engineering materials on Indian naval warships with significant improvement in weight and stability parameters. At the commissioning ceremony of INS Kiltan at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam earlier this week, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman emphasised that the Navy’s relentless pursuit of self-reliance through indigenisation is highly appreciable and this has helped the Indian Navy to seamlessly transform from a buyer’s to a builder’s navy. “This commissioning marks yet another milestone in our journey of indigenous warship building. The Indian Navy is deeply committed to the principle of indigenisation and the government’s thrust on ‘Make in India’. Commissioning of four ships in the last year, all built in Indian shipyards, is a testimony of our resolve. Our commitment to indigenisation also assumes special significance as we have steadily broadened our indigenisation efforts beyond ship building,” said Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba.
Kiltan is the latest indigenous warship after Shivalik class, Kolkata class and sister ships INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt to have joined the Indian Navy’s arsenal, wherein a plethora of weapons and sensors have been integrated to provide a ‘Common Operational Picture (COP)’. The ship’s weapons and sensors suite is predominantly indigenous and includes heavy weight torpedoes, ASW rockets, 76 mm-caliber medium range gun and two multi-barrel 30 mm guns as Close-in-Weapon System (CIWS) with dedicated fire control systems, missile decoy rockets (Chaff), advanced ESM (Electronic Support Measure) system, bow mounted sonar and air surveillance radar Revathi. The installed propulsion and auxiliary systems provides very low radiated underwater noise feature required for anti-submarine warfare. Enhanced stealth features have been achieved by ‘X’ form of hull, full beam superstructure, inclined ship sides and use of Infra Red Signature Suppression (IRSS) system designed by NSTL for cooling the engine and generator exhausts.