Indian Navy’s Delhi Class destroyers to become more lethal with modernised anti-air defence

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Published: September 13, 2019 2:00:23 PM

According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the major overhaul and refurbishment of subsystems would be undertaken in India and critical components will be undertaken in partnership here locally.

Indian Navy, Indian Navy delhi class destroyers, anti air defence system, Kashmir, Radar Fregat MAE, Ministry of Defence, P-15 Ships, Radar Fregat MAEThe modernisation of Radar and Missile systems would substantially enhance the Air Defence capability of the P-15 Ships. (Photo source: indiannavy.nic.in)

Delhi Class guided missile destroyers form part of the main battle Group of Indian Navy, will soon become more powerful with the upgrading of their anti- Air Defence System. India and Russia’s JSC Rosboronexport have signed a contract for the contract for modernisation of “Air Defence Complex Kashmir and Radar Fregat MAE” on P-15 (Delhi Class) of ships. The modernisation of Radar and Missile systems would substantially enhance the Air Defence capability of the P-15 Ships.

According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the major overhaul and refurbishment of subsystems would be undertaken in India and critical components will be undertaken in partnership here locally.

What is Delhi Class Missile Destroyer?

Delhi Class guided missile destroyers form part of the main battle Group of Indian Navy, with all three ships of its Class viz. IN Ships Delhi (1997), Mysore (1999) and Mumbai (2001) indigenously made at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai.

At the time of commissioning, the ships were fitted with various weapon suites, with Russian origin weapon packages as the mainstay of ship’s capabilities. The existing Russian Fregat MAE and Kashmir SAMs are major Anti Air warfare systems and are up for modernisation in order to maintain the ship’s capabilities in lines with the modern sea warfare tactics.

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What is Radar Fregat-MAE?

According to a naval expert it is shipborne 3D (Range, Bearing, Elevation reporting) radar with a specified role for detection of air and surface targets and is capable of providing Target Designation data to missile systems. This radar has a slightly squinted phased array antenna (for reasons pertaining to radar beamforming) perched on the ship’s superstructure.

“The radar Fregat-MAE forms an integrated Missile Complex with the ship’s twin i.e. Fore and Aft Kashmir SAM systems (an earlier version of Russian SAMs) and both these systems are to be upgraded together in order to achieve the delicate synchronism between the two. Since fitment, these two systems have already completed more than 20 years of service life and technology advancements have been phenomenal during this period. The latest SAMs and Air/Surface surveillance radar systems from Russian armoury are the selected replacements to achieve a larger Air Defence umbrella for own ship and other Fleet ships. The SAMs which are to be faster and least vulnerable to jamming are expected to be from the latest kitty of Russian Naval SAMs like Shtil,” explains Milind Kulshreshtha, Artificial Intelligence and C4I expert.

Such a major system replacements are usually part of a well-planned ship’s upgrade activity and require a major repair and overhaul programme. Installation and commissioning of major Radar and SAM systems is a complex activity and is to be proven in an in an integrated manner also, he adds.

These are finally put through rigorous and stringent Harbour trials and Sea checks, in Indian waters to meet the operating Environmental conditions. However, Indian Navy’s repair Dockyards are fully capable of undertaking and completing such activities in a time-bound manner.

Though the process is time-consuming and arduous but at the end of it all, Indian Navy shall be more confident possessing an upgraded modern power-packed punch within the Fleet by creating an effective and deadly Air screen wall at sea, both during peacetime active roles and in case of any other future eventualities.

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