An IDC Analysis

(With acknowledgements to Richard Scott of Jane’s)


New Delhi, 06 October 2003

INS Talwar (Source: Navy Website)

The Indian Navy is a modern fighting force that the Western world respects. The Navy’s sail training ship INS Tarangini was hosting guests in Annanapolis near Washington DC and had won five races in the Great Lakes. Unfortunately such events are scantily reported in our media.

At the recently concluded LIMA 2003, Malaysia’s Defence Show in Langkawi, out of the 17 foreign ships, INS Delhi and INS Kora were on show and professionals were eager to know about INS Talwar and Trishul, the first two of the Navy’s three new Russian built frigates (Project 1135.6  –– designers Yakov Enko Dmitry and Vyacheslav A Senchurov, chief designer Igor M Shramko, who were at LIMA 2003).

The two Ts arrived in Mumbai to join the powerful Western Fleet after separate return voyages from St Petersburg and en route they showed off Indian Navy’s newly acquired power. Now without doubt the Indian Navy is far superior in missile power to any Navy in the East –– with the arsenal these two ships carry a full fleet can be engaged!

INS Trishul, transited to India through the Atlantic and around the Cape of Good Hope. The experience of these ships in Russia will hold Mazagon Docks in good stead to quickly build the Type 17, which has a lot of similarities. Richard Scott the Jane’s Navy editor had done a good job of the equipment analysis of these ships and much is reproduced from his article in Navy International, Sept 2003.

Talwar’s commissioning was delayed somewhat as the fire control radar of the new Puma A 190 Gun seemed to have interfered with the Shtil AA missile radar and the Navy decided to get the fault ironed out in Russia itself. With state orders at a standstill, the Project 1135.6 programme was critical to the maintenance of core design competencies, while at the same time funding the development of a number of new platforms and combat systems, and testing the capability of industry to deliver state-of-the-art products against taut commercial conditions, which has helped both Indian and Russian Navies.

“The contract enabled us to maintain our intellectual resource in the absence of domestic orders,” said Vladimir Yukhnin, head and general designer of the Severnoye Project Design Bureau “It also offered an opportunity to bring together the potential of Russian shipbuilders and subcontractors in the framework of a commercial export entity. Rosoboronexport. Severnoye has been helping the Indian Navy’s design team and now Navy’s team has core competence.” 

‘Krivak III’ Heritage

The three ships of Project 1135.6 were ordered in November 1997 under a US$1 billion-plus deal negotiated through Rosoboronexport. Built at the Baltisky Zavod shipyard in St. Petersburg, the Project 1135.6 design was developed by the Severnoye Project Design Bureau using the earlier 3,650 ton Project 1135.1 frigate (‘Krivak III’) as a basis. But while the ‘Krivak III’ dates back to the early 1980s, the extensive scope of redesign and re-engineering for Project 1135.6 realized a multipurpose surface combatant of about 4,000 t displacement (this increase being attributed to additional weapon systems and the replacement of light alloys with steel), tailored to meet the Indian Navy’s specific mission and performance requirements.

Propulsion is provided by a Ukrainian sourced combined gas and gas (COGAG) M7N1 machinery plant driving two shafts. The ship has M7N1 installation comprising two Zorya-Mashproekt UGT 6000 cruise gas turbines, two UGT 16000 (DN-59) boost gas turbines and reduction gears. Total power is about 40 MW, providing for a maximum speed of over 30 kt (while the UGT 6000 and UGT 16000 are normally rated at 6 MW and 16 MW respectively, output has been derated for operations in tropical conditions).

Electrical power on board is produced by four WCM 800/5 800kW diesel generators (possibly Warstila) supplying three-phase AC/38v/50Hz. An integrated platform control system, developed by the Aurora Research and Production Association, monitors and manages propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, steering and stabilization, and electrical power distribution. Based on a local-area network (LAN), its distributed system architecture uses standardized VME modules.

In common with other ship equipment, Talwar’s combat system is predominantly sourced from Russian industry. At its hub is the Trebovaniye-M combat information and control system, a fully distributed combat management system produced by the Meridian Research and Production Enterprise JSC. Interconnected via an Ethernet LAN, Trebovaniye-M features eight T-171 operator workstations (with 18-inch colour flat panel displays) and three central T-162 servers. Individual items of combat system equipment interface to Trebovaniye-M via T-119- and T-190- series bus interface units. Raw radar is received through a T-181 data reception unit.

According to the Meridian Research and Production Enterprise, Trebovaniye-M hardware is based on ruggedised industry-standard processing boards supplied by Octagon systems. Applications are coded in C++, running under the QNX real-time operating system.

The Shtil-1 medium-range air-defence missile system, developed by the Altair State Research and Production Association, provides Talwar’s primary anti-air capability. For Project 1135.6 ships, the Shtil-1 system configuration comprises one 3890 single-arm launcher mounted forward, a below-decks magazine for 24 9M317 missiles, four MR-90 Orekh radar illuminators, and a command-and-control post.

Manufactured by the Dolgoprudny Research and Production Enterprise, the 9M317 missile (also common to the land-based Buk M1-2 system) uses a combination of inertial guidance and semi-active radar homing (the 70kg blast fragmentation warhead is triggered by a radar proximity fuze). Maximum range is 32 km.

Target indication to the Shtil-1 system is provided by the Salyut-supplied Fregat M2EM E-band three-dimensional air surface surveillance radar. Using back-to-back electronically scanned arrays, Fregat-M2EM rotates at either 12rpm or 6rmp, and has an instrumented range out to 300 km.

Fitted directly atop the bridge is the 3Ts-25E (Garpun-B) target designation radar complex, a product of the Granit Central Scientific Institute; 3Ts-25E uses active and passive channels to provide long-range surface target designation.

For short-range navigation and surface surveillance, Talwar is fitted with an MR-212/201-1 I-Band navigation radar complex and a separate Kelvin Hughes Nucleus – 2 6000A set. Elektropribor supplies the Ladoga-ME-11356 inertial navigation and stabilization suite.

Club-N Missile Complex

Directly aft of the 3S90 missile launcher are the launch hatches for an eight-cell KBSM 3S14E anti-ship cruise missiles (part of the Club-N complex). The Agat Research and Production Enterprise has supplied the 3R14N-11356 shipborne fire-control system associated with Club-N. India is the first customer for the 3M54E missile (SS-N-27 ‘Sizzler’), a three-stage weapon that flies sub sonically at sea-skimming altitude until about 20 km from its target. It then ‘pops up’ to search for its target using the ARGS-54 radar seeker, before releasing a supersonic ‘combat stage’ powered by a solid-fuel rocket for the terminal approach phase.

A single A-190E 100 mm dual-purpose gun, manufactured by the Arsenal Machine Building Plant, is fitted forward. This forms part of the A-190E-5P-10E artillery complex with the 5P-10E Puma radar fire-control system (mounted atop the bridge deck).

Under development by the Ametist Design Bureau since the early 1990s, the A-190 uses a lightweight gun mount (15t) with an automatic gun and fuze setter. The mounting is fed from separate port and starboard magazines and uses three different rounds: a high-explosive shell with an impact fuze; an anti-aircraft shell using an electronic fuze; and an inert practice round.

An automatic control and monitoring system prepares the gun for firing, selects the appropriate ammunition, conducts continuous diagnostics and computes firing corrections. The associated 5P-10E radar fire-control system, designed by the Ametist Design Bureau and manufacturer by the Ratep Joint Stock Company, utilizes an I-band phased-array antenna with adjunct TV tracker and laser range-finder.

Close-in defence is provided by the Kashtan gun/missile system, comprising two 3R87E combat modules (fitted either side of the hangar) and a 3R86E1 command module. Each combat module combines two GSh-30K 30 mm cannon with a battery of eight (four above each gun) 9M311 short-range missiles. The two-stage 9M311 missiles –– which employ radar and electro-optical command-to-line-of-sight guidance –– cover an envelope from 1.5 km to 8 km, with the GSh-30K guns effective over an inner zone between 500 m and 4 km. The Indian Army has the equivalent TANGUSKA .

For ASW, the Project 1135.6 ships are fitted with a single RBU-6000 12-barrel anti-submarine rocket system (firing the 212 mm-calibre 90R missile or RGB-60 depth charges) and two twin DTA-53-11356torpedo tubes for SET-65E/53-65KE torpedoes (fitted amid-ships). Fire control for both the RBU-6000 and DTA-53 launchers is provided by the Purga anti-submarine fire-control system (a product of the Granit Central Scientific Institute).

BEL has supplied the NPOL designed HUMSA sonar for Project 1135.6 ships. HUMSA is a panoramic medium-range active/passive sonar system. Literature released by the Severnoye Project Design Bureau suggests that the Project 1135.6 will also deploy an active towed-array sonar astern, but no such system is evident in recent pictures of INS Talwar, according to Richard Scott who met the ship at Portsmouth. The INS Godavari did have a towed array but full details had not been released by the Navy and one wonders why. Some bureaucrat will have to clear it and we see export potential. But then an Agent not the Government can do that. 

While the Indian Navy has predominantly procured its electronic warfare (EW) systems from Israel and indigenous sources in recent years, the Project 1135.6 features the Russian-manufactured TK-25E-5 integrated EW suite. This comprises a wideband electronic support measures system (with antenna arrays mounted in the super structure) and a multimode jammer.

Four KT-216 decoy launchers, forming part of the PK-10 system, are fitted for missile defence. A total of 120, 120 mm chaff and infrared decoy rounds are carried on board.

A flight deck and hangar aft provide for the operation of a single helicopter (either the Kamov Ka-28 anti-submarine helicopter or the Ka-31 radar picket/targeting variant.)

Programme Details

On 12 May 2000, the lead Project 1135.6 frigate was launched into the River Neva. Following contractor’s sea trials, Talwar began a programme of State Acceptance tests in February 2002. Warstila diesel supplied the generators from Finland and the gaskets for the shafts as Russian gaskets were known to leak. This is one example of the advances in the project, which will help the Type 17 project.

A first live firing of the Shtil-1 system was successfully undertaken on 12 March 2002. However, a test firing in May that year resulted in a failure, and a repeat test the following month was also unsuccessful. As a result, an interdepartmental commission was convened to investigate the reasons for the test failures, and to formulate a recovery plan. According to Baltiyskiy Zavod’s General Director Oleg Shulyakovskiy, the problems with the Shtil-1 system stemmed from mutual interference issues affecting the new 9M317 missile.

A series of fixes for the Shtil-1 system were tested in the State Acceptance test programme for second-of-class Trishul. Laid down on 24 September 1999 and launched on 24 November 2000, Trishul began its contractor’s sea trials programme in August 2002, operating initially in the Gulf of Finland and then sailing to Baltiysk naval base. Following completion of navigation, platform and machinery trials, the ship returned to its builder on 7 October that year.

Following completion of its long-delayed delivery and acceptance trials period, Talwar was finally handed over to the Indian Navy during ceremonies at the Baltiyskiy Zavod yard on 18 June 2003 in the presence of the Indian and Russian Chiefs of Naval Staff. VADM Arun Prakash who will be the next VCNS, commissioned the Trishul on 25 June. The third and final Project 1135.6 unit, INS Tabar, is currently running trials in the Baltic and is due to be handed over at the end of 2003. A repeat order may also be placed as the ships are cheaper and faster to build in Russia.

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