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INS Kavaratti: The Saab edge to India’s potent ASW Corvette

3 min read

The Indian Navy’s preparedness has been greatly enhanced by the induction of the last of four indigenously built Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) stealth corvettes “INS Kavaratti" under Project 28 (Kamorta class).

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The INS Kavaratti and the earlier inducted INS Kiltan are built with composite superstructures delivered by Saab. Apart from significantly lowering the top weight, the Saab superstructure of carbon fibre composite material integrated with ship’s metallic main hull comes with improved stealth features and lower maintenance costs. The carbon fibre inherently shields against a wide range of signals, such as electromagnetic, IR, pressure, acoustic, radar and heat, and is therefore an important factor behind the corvette’s phenomenal stealth properties. The stealth features ensure that the ship is hard or impossible to find by the enemy below water surface or above. Stealth features allows you to gain more time and use the countermeasures more efficiently. In other words ‘Stealth’ means increased survivability.

"Saab looks forward to partnering with the Indian Navy and Indian ship builders who truly exemplify the approach of ‘Make in India’ combining the skills and technologies from the best of the world. We look forward to partnering with the Indian Navy across its operations and capability building endeavors. The two ASWs are significant additions to the Indian Navy and we are happy to have played a part in making it happen," says Ola Rignell, Chairman and Managing Director of Saab India.

One of the most important benefits of the composite superstructure is that less power (and fuel) is needed to achieve contractual speeds i.e., higher speed can be achieved if same power is applied. Driven by an ever-increasing trend to put sensors and weapons high up in the ship, a composite superstructure enables ship designers to reduce top weight and improve stability. A modern high-tech laminate of carbon fibre is one of the strongest, but lightest, materials known to mankind. Saab composite superstructure concept is an affordable lightweight non-corroding alternative to steel or aluminum structures that saves around 50% in structural weight.

The P28 Kamorta class are 109-metres and 2,500-ton ASW corvettes, built by Indian Garden Reach Shipbuilding and Engineering (GRSE) in Kolkata. The Indian superstructures delivered by Saab almost equals the size of Visby-class corvettes.

The ship is highly maneuverable with a top speed of 25 knots. The ASW stealth corvette is armed with a range of indigenously developed cutting-edge weapons and sensors, including “a medium-range gun, torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers and a close-in weapon system”. It also has the capability to carry anti-submarine warfare helicopter, which provides forward presence.