Friday 21 September 2018, 12:16 PM
New naval guns and self defence missiles ordered
By Sushil Sharma (BDK) | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 6/19/2018 12:56:33 PM
New naval guns and self defence missiles ordered

With Chinese Navy making rapid strides, the Indian Navy has been continuously getting focused attention from the Ministry of Defence. The MoD has okayed the purchase of specialised long range guns to be installed onboard warships and in January this year, 131 Barak,  self-defence missiles have  been ordered from Israel’s Rafael Advance Defence Systems Ltd at a cost of Rs 460 crore. 

Long range guns: On April 27, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared the purchase of 13 long range guns that will allow warships to attack targets some 24 km away, including targets on sea and land.  The range can be extended further by using a different type of ammunition. These guns are also used by the US Navy and their prime usage is in conflict where firing a missile, like the BrahMos, in not needed.  The guns are 127mm calibre and will coast  Rs 3,000 crore to be sourced from BAE Systems of United States. The same company supplies 145 artillery guns for the Indian Army.The DAC is the highest decision-making body of the MoD and is headed by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Heavy weight torpedoes: In August last year, Indian Navy issued a request for information ( the first step of the tendering process) to buy heavyweight torpedoes for submarines. Heavyweight torpedoes are critical for submarines and the Indian Navy has an acute shortage.

The Scorpene Class submarines - conventional diesel- electric boats made by Naval group of France – await these torpedoes. In May last year, New Delhi  cancelled its previous contract to buy 98 Black Shark heavyweight torpedoes at an estimated cost of US $200 million. The manufactures of the torpedo - Whitehead Alenia Systemi Subacquei (WASS) - is a subsidiary of Italian arms manufacturer Finmeccanica, now known as Lenonardo. The Italian arms manufacturing giant was blacklisted after it was alleged that another subsidiary of the company -  AgustaWestland - had paid bribes to secure a contract to sell 12 helicopters for use of VVIP’s in India.

Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) has signed a ‘Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology’ for productionisation of the torpedo, Varunastra. This will be ship-launched torpedo, designed and developed by the Visakhapatnam-based Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL).Naval Group is offering their latest generation F-21 torpedoes the same fitted on to  French Navy’s nuclear powered Barracuda class submarines. These can seamlessly be integrated with the Scorpene submarines.

Larsen & Toubro Ltd and joint stock company Rosoboronexper for underwater platforms of Indian Navy and Heavy Weight Torpedo.Anti ship and land attack Missiles:  The Scorpenes will also have the Anti-Ship Exocet (French for ‘flying fish’) SM39 that can be launched from its six 533 mm torpedo launchers. Built by European missile-maker MBDA, the high subsonic missile has a range of 50 km and travel at Mach 0.9 with a 165 kg high-explosive conventional warhead. 

It’s sea-skimming missile with maneuvering possibility. The submarine which will launch such a missile will be difficult to locate as the missile exits the water some distance away it and also does not require the submarine to rise to sea-level for the launch.The Project 75-I specifies the need for land attack missile capability in addition to torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. Launched from an under-water submarine such a missile will add teeth to Indian Navy. 

It is likely that a smaller lighter variant of BrahMos with the same operational range and payload, but only 6 m in length and 1.4 tonnes in weight could be the weapon of choice. Named BrahMos-NG (next generation), it is to be incorporated with the best of cruise missile technology Already in 2013, a variant of the BrahMos was fired from an underwater pontoon in the Bay of Bengal. It was a success.Land attack missiles are also made US makers General Dynamics and Raytheon, European MBDA and the Israeli’s. All these companies could be the race for the project 75-I. 

 
Sushil Sharma 

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naval,defence,missiles,ordered,Chinese,Rafael,Advance,Defence,Systems,Acquisition

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