An IDC Analysis 


New Delhi, 24 June 2003



Bristling with latest AA, SSM, Sonar and weapon systems for self-protection the Indian Navy’s latest stealth ship was commissioned on 18th June, which will go down as a Sea Mark day in its history. A ship that can compete with the best in the world is now the latest bride of the Indian Navy. The second ship in the series,  INS Trishul will be commissioned on 25th June by Vice Admiral Arun Prakash, FOC-in-C West and INS Tabar, the third of class, will be commissioned in Ocotober, 2003 augmenting India's Fleet potential immensely especially with Missile power and AA defence.

The Admirals of the Indian Navy decided some years ago that a programme to build/acquire ships for the 21st Century was needed to drive the Indian Navy into the technological era, just as the Leander and HDW Submarine programmes had been drivers of Indian Industry in the 70s. We recall that in 1974 the First Sea Lord of UK visited Bombay and went to sea in INS Nilgiri. He could not believe the ship with its Seacat AA missile, was so exceptionally built for the navy by the Mazagon Dock.

Unfortunately the HDW scandal derailed the submarine programme, and funds for the Navy in the 80s slowed down. When INS Nilgiri the first of class was commissioned, the Captain D S Paintal, had insisted that every system on board be proved by the Shipyard. Ag LCdr Madhvendra Singh was then the Gunnery Officer. In the case of TALWAR, the latest Vertical Launch vessel, the same Admiral Madhvendra Singh and his team of Admirals insisted that the Shtil long range AA and SAM system be fully proved.

We congratulate Captain S Soni and all who sail on the new Talwar fair winds and following seas. Madhvendra Singh as a Commander was the Captain of INS Talwar and it was retrofitted with surface-to-surface Styx missiles from the OSA class boats that attacked Karachi. That was another revolutionary experiment, emulated on INS Trishul. We predict that the experience and technology will boost the Type 17 Project at Mazagon Dock for the future and India can look to exports if the PJ 10 Brahmos missile succeeds.


(Courtesy: Bharat Rakshak/M Majumdar)

Vessel Type: Destroyer, Type 1135.6

Future Commissions:

Talwar; Laid Down - 10 March 1999, Launched - 12 May 2000, Commissioning - June 2003.

Trishul; Laid Down - 24 Sept 1999, Launched - 24 Nov 2000, Commissioning - June 2003.

Tabar; Laid Down - 26 May 2000, Launched - 25 May 2001, Commissioning -  Oct 2003.

Structure: These 'stealthy' ships are to a modified Krivak design based on on the Severnoye (Northern) Design Bureau initiative. While the superstructure sides are sloped and relatively clean, the very cluttered topside of the ship cannot be remotely described as having any signature reducing features. However, these frigates will be the first Indian Navy warships to incorporate some stealth features and a vertical launch missile system. Some weapon, radar and sonar system details are still speculative.

Displacement: 3850 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 124.5 metres.

Beam - 15.2 metres.

Draught - 4.2 metres.

Main Machinery:

The Zorya/Mashproekt M7N.1E gas turbine plant which comprises of 2 x DS-71 cruise turbines and 2 x DT-59 boost turbines in 2 engine rooms.

·         The cruising component consists of two DS-71 gas-turbine engines (each rated at 9000 hp, forward running, and 1.500 hp in reverse), two cruising RO63 two-speed gearboxes and one cruising R1063 auxiliary (cross-connected) gearbox which makes it possible to use any of the cruising engines to drive both propeller shafts. Ratings at ISA + 15 air temperature.

·         A boost component with two DT-59.1 gas-turbine engines (each rated at 19,500 hp, forward running, and 4500 hp in reverse) and two RO58 single-speed reduction gearboxes. Ratings at ISA + 15 air temperature.

·         All the engines & gearboxes are referred to as L (Levyy) and P (Pravyy) sets except for the R1063 auxiliary (cross connection) gearbox. In Russian, Levyy means Left and Pravyy means Right. So, there would be a DS71L, RO63L, and DS71P, RO63P and so on. Mashproekt Scientific & Production Enterprise of Ukraine manufactures the Zorya-designed gas turbines and reduction gears. The basic specifications of marine gas turbine units (GTU) are;

  • GTU (Gas Turbine) starting time: 120-180 seconds.

  • Time to accelerate from idle running mode to rated power mode: 300 seconds.

  • Time to decelerate from rated power mode to idle running mode: 40-70 seconds.

  • Full reverse time: 70-120 seconds.

  • MTBO (Mean Time Between Overhauls) for engines: 20,000 to 30,000 hours.

  • MTBO (Mean Time Between Overhauls) for reduction gears: 50,000 to 60,000 hours.

Characteristics of Gas Turbines for the M7N.1 Power Plant



Efficiency (%)


Compressor Type

Dimensions (LxWxH) (m)



9000 fwd
1500 rev



Axial flow, 2 spool, 8 + 9 stages. Comp Ratio = 16.6:1

3.4 x 1.7 x 2.4



19,500 fwd 4500 rev



Axial flow, 2 spool, 7 + 9 stages. Comp Ratio = 12.7:1

6.6 x 2.5 x 3.1


Gearbox Data





Dimensions (LxWxH) in meters






3.24 x 2.8 x 2.6


(2 speed)




3.3 x 2.3 x 2.8




Cross Connection


1.0 x 1.92 x 1.05



Electrical power is provided by four 1 MW Wartsila WCM-1000 generator sets with Cummins KTA50G3 engines and Kirloskar 1MV AC generators. These are not mounted in acoustic enclosures unlike the Project 17 Class frigates. The contract for the generators was signed with Wartsila Denmark.

Maximum Speed: 30 knots.

Maximum Range: 4600 miles at 20 knots.1600 miles at 30 knots.

Maximum Sea Endurance: 30 days.

Complement: 180 (incl. 18 officers)


Surface Search; One (NATO: Palm Frond) radar at I-band frequency and two MR-212 radars.

Air/Surface Search; One Fregat M2EM (NATO: Top Plate) 3D circular scan radar at D/E-band frequency.

Fire Control: A 5P10 fire control system comprising a phased array and target tracking radar along with laser and TV devices. The system has a maximum detection range of 60 km. It operates autonomously and is capable of automatically locking on to four targets and tracking them.


Some reports indicate that Bharat APSOH, a hull-mounted, providing active search & attack with medium frequency is installed. Also has a SSN-137 VDS (Variable Depth Sonar), providing active search with medium frequency. Other reports from Russia indicate that French towed array sonars (TAS) are fitted. This is very plausible given that many Indian Navy ships now use French TAS.


Eight universal vertical launch cells for the Klub-N ASCM are fitted. Fire control is provided by a 5P10 radar fitted above the bridge along with in-flight course correction updates via data links.

In the air defence role, the Shtil-1 medium-range SAM with a single 3S-90 launcher is fitted forward of the bridge. The Shtil system uses either the SA-N-7 (navalised SA-11) or the SA-N-12 (navalised SA-17) surface-to-air missile, of which 24 missiles are carried on board. Guidance and target illumination for these missiles is provided by four MR-90 Orekh (NATO: Front Dome) radars. Eight Igla-1E (SA-16) portable air defence missiles are also carried.

One 100mm A-190(E) gun, for use against ship and shore based targets, with 60 rds/min to 8.2n miles; 15 km. Weight of shell is 16 kg. Fire control is by the 5P10 director mounted atop the bridge. For the CIWS (Close In Weapon System) role, two Kashtan Air Defence Gun/Missile Systems are used.

The A-190(E) gun is based on innovative technological and layout solutions, which features relatively low weight-size characteristics. The gun leads to a more than three-fold increase in the combat effectiveness of surface combatants, as compared to those fitted with the AK-176M (fitted in the Khukri Class), owing to: increase in the range of fire (roughly twofold); 1.8 times growth in the lethality of projectiles at a target; doubled accuracy of fire; and reduced reaction time as a result of automated operations, such as preparation of the gun for firing, selection of ammunition, monitoring of mechanisms' operation during firing, and display of data on the operator's monitor.

The A-190(E) gun is also superior to the AK-100 gun (fitted in the Delhi Class) in terms of basic performance characteristics: the rate of fire (approximately 1.5 times); accuracy (about three times); weight; dimensions; and operating characteristics. The gun also features higher automation of fire preparation and control. The gun employs advanced guided and rocket-assisted long-range and enhanced-lethality projectiles fitted with dual-mode impact / proximity fuses set to operate over the target area. Together with the use of the muzzle velocity meter, it is designed to produce ever increased combat capability of the system in fire against sea- and shore-based point and area targets. In addition, the gun hull features stealth technology to minimize the radar signature of a ship.

RPK-8 system using a 12 barrelled RBU-6000 ASW launcher to fire the 90R anti-submarine missile. The firing range is from 600 to 4300 metres, and the depth of engagement is up to 1000 metres.

Four PTA-53 533mm (2 twin) fixed torpedo tube launchers.

Combat Data System:

A Russian-designed combat data system.

Helicopter Capacity:  

One Ka-28 Helix-A ASW helicopter or one Ka-31 Helix-B AEW helicopter. The vessel can also embark the navalised variant of the indigenous HAL Dhruv.


Decoys: Two PK-2 chaff launchers.

ESM: Bharat Ajanta (intercept).

ECM: ASOR 11356 (jammer).


On 17 November 1997, Russia and India signed a $1 billion contract, after which Severnoye Design Bureau began detail design and the shipbuilder, Baltisky Zavod of St. Petersburg, Russia began preparations for their construction. The Talwar Class of vessels are built as frigates, but because of the local area-defence Shtil-1 SAM being installed on the Indian vessels, they will be designated as destroyers in the Indian Navy.

The first vessel, the Talwar, commenced engine sea trials in November 2001 and immediately ran into major problems with the machinery, hull, equipment integration and weapons systems. Indian media reports indicate that as of December 2002, the Shtil SAM system had been unable to hit any airborne targets during trial firings. This may be due to integration problems between the combat management and weapons systems. The Indian Navy will not take delivery until all problems are rectified. In fact, the commissioning crew was flown back to India because of the extent of problems, and the time needed to fix them. This has set back scheduled delivery dates very considerably - from May 2002 for the Talwar to sometime around April 2003.

This project involves around 130 suppliers from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, India, Britain, Germany, Denmark and other countries including over 30 St. Petersburg-based naval design organizations and institutes. There are also a considerable number of Indian component suppliers. Two Halmatic Pacific 22 Mk.I rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are used as general ships boats. The Talwar Class of vessels are designed primarily for ASW warfare and for the air defense of naval task forces. The Navy wants to fill the gap created by the decommissioning of the Leander Class frigates and until the Project 17 Class frigates enter service. These frigates will be the first Indian Navy warships to incorporate some stealth technology.

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