The Indian Defense Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has commissioned home-grown anti-submarine corvette, INS Kiltan in the southern port city of Vishakhapatnam Monday.
INS Kiltan is third of the four Project 28 warships that has joined the Indian Navy. Two of the four corvettes, INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt were commissioned in 2014 and 2016 respectively. The remaining one INS Kavaratti is under construction and is slated to be completed by the end of 2017.
It is India's first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features, lower top weight and maintenance costs, according to the official release.
The stealth corvette has been designed by the Indian Navy's in-house body, the Directorate of Naval Design under Project 28 (Kamorta Class).
INS Kiltan is also the first major warship to have undertaken sea trials of all major weapons and sensors as a pilot project and is ready to be operationally deployed on the day of joining the Indian Navy.
In the future, it would also be installed with short range SAM system and carry an integral ASW helicopter.
The ship hosts a predominantly indigenous cutting-edge weapons and sensors suite which includes heavyweight torpedoes, ASW rockets, 76 mm calibre 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 Electronic Support Measure system, most advanced bow mounted sonar and air surveillance radar Revathi, the press statement stated.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in July had come down hard on the Indian Navy for causing inordinate delay in construction of four anti-submarine warfare corvettes. In a report tabled in Parliament, the federal auditor said two of the four warships were delivered to the Navy were not fitted with required weapons and sensor systems due to which they could not perform to full potential as envisaged.
The CAG was severely critical of the Navy's Directorate of Naval Design (DND) for delay in finalising the design of the corvettes, saying approved designs were amended 24 times.
INS Kilthan and INS Kavaratti are capable of fighting under nuclear, biological and chemical environments. INS Kiltan will be a frontline warship with advanced stealth features and low radar signature enhancing its anti-submarine warfare capability. The original INS Kiltan was decommissioned in 1987.
The Kamorta-class corvettes or Project 28 currently being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata succeed the in-service Kora-class guided-missile corvettes.
The corvettes are fitted with OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) that can fire 120 standard ammunition rounds a minute for a maximum range of 16 km.