Does the Indian Navy need fewer capital warships and more corvettes?

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by bengalraider, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Why Indian Navy needs fewer INS Kochis
    It needs larger numbers of patrol vessels and light frigates, not expensive destroyers.

    http://www.dailyo.in/politics/india...mrca-iaf-mirage-2000-rafale/story/1/6559.html

    In the piece quoted above Sandeep Unnithan makes a case for buying fewer capital warships while building more smaller sized corvette and NOPV class vessels to rapidly close the capability gap with the Chinese.I believe the man is at least partially correct . We need numbers to counter the Chinese and just as the Chinese plan to counter the Americans with swarm missile tactics launched from the vast numbers (83 in service till date) of Houbei class stealth missile boats , we also need to counter them by using vast numbers of Small Stealth Missile craft.
    Also the IN needs more combat ships to train Captains in the practicalities of ship command The IN simply does not have enough sea commands Each year 60 captain-ranked officers vie for the command of 25 front line warships. This is a serious problem and the solution that the navy seems to have hit upon is alarming. They have shrunk command tenures and rationed out billets. Earlier, a captain got at least two 18-month long sea tenures. Now, it is just one tenure. This is an alarming solution for a navy tasked with multiple tasks. A sea captain is the most invaluable asset of any Navy. Our captains need to get all the experience they can get. A cursory glance at the career trajectories of some of the navy’s brightest admirals reveal the pattern—command of a minor war vessel, command of a frigate and finally, command of an R class destroyer or the carrier Viraat.
    This also does not necessarily have to entail a reduction in overall combat capability. The Russian Navy recently launched cruise missile attacks on ISIS targets in Syria , the pertinent point to note there is that except for the Gepard class frigate Dagestan (Itself a 1500 ton light frigate) all of the other missiles were launched by Buyan class corvettes weighing in at 500-950 tonnes.I believe we need to take a page out of that book and think about building a class of 30-40 such small combatants armed with 4-8 Brahmos/ Nirbhay class Ashms and LACMs each. This will create a new class of missile armed light frigate that will help us patrol the seas far more effectively. I had earlier alluded to this in the " what-military-equipment-would-you-like-to-see-in-the-indian-armed-forces" thread as well when i posted about buying 32 missile corvettes here as part of my five year plan for the Indian Armed forces.
    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...indian-armed-forces.1496/page-14#post-1069580

    I believe the Above topic should be hotly discussed as a way of determining the most cost effective way of Naval modernization.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buyan-class_corvette
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_022_missile_boat
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirbhay
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3M-54_Klub
    https://www.rt.com/news/317864-russian-warships-missiles-launch/
     
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  3. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    What you're essentially suggesting is a Zerg approach. That somehow a set _quantity_ of corvettes will help us catch up with a set _quantity_ of frigates and destroyers of PLAN. If it was that simple, everyone would be building corvettes, and modern destroyers would go the way of battleships.

    But it doesn't work that way. We have a finite number of dry-docks, so we're better off building frigates and destoyers than corvettes. I do agree that we need more ASW corvettes and littoral combat vessels, but those shouldn't come at the expense of our capital ships, which can be made to unleash a heavy barrage of cruise missiles across multiple surface and air targets; and take on large submarines in a quantitative engagement. They're also essential for "force-projection" and to act as a deterrent. A large fleet of corvettes won't scare Pakistanis as much as a modest fleet of 12-18 destroyers do, even if most of them stay docked in peacetime. The US Navy operates over 60 Arleigh-Burkes, it's the only way they could maintain domination over all their trade routes, in some of the most distant waters from the US homeland.

    You can't take an ASW corvette to an Ohio-class or an Astute-class fight. Destroyers are essential for the multiple roles they can play at sea.
     
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  4. Bheeshma

    Bheeshma Regular Member

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    IN needs a balanced fleet. Can't have 50-60 Destroyers & Frigates. 12 Destroyers, 20 Frigates as main ships for AC & LHD support and 16 Corvettes (Both ASW & ASuW) and 16 OPV's is ideal mix. This rubbish about Buyan-M carrying long range missile only works because they are hiding them safe in Caspian Sea and another batch will come up at Black sea. Both are basically russian ponds. RuN will never induct them in Northern or Pacific fleet. IN OPV's can fire Prithvi-3, hopefully instead of BM's they can carry inclined Nirbhays for long range strikes.
     
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  5. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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    I did not know OPVs can fire prithvi. Can you give a source?
     
  6. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    I'm not advocating 50-60 destroyers, either. In my opinion, this is the ideal fleet roster for the Indian Navy given today's realities:
    • 14-18 destroyers
    • 26-32 frigates
    • 35-50 general purpose/patrol corvettes
    • 18 ASW corvettes
    • 20 littoral combat vessels
    • 4 aircraft carriers (8-10 naval fighter squadrons)
    • 6 SSBNs (two with permanent holding in the Pacific with supply/crew replenishment from friendly base in Fiji)
    • 8-10 SSN
    • 15-20 medium attack subs
    • 25-30 landing ships of various sizes
    • 8-10 oilers
    • Other auxiliary/support vessels
     
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  7. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Isn't patrolling and maintaining vigilance along Indian coast line primary job of the Indian Coast Guard!!!
     
  8. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The first world war heralded the rise of the submarine and the second cemented the supremacy of airpower.
    I believe that the next major naval ship vs ship conflict shall cement the supremacy of the cruise missile.
    It simply does not matter if the ship is a corvette or a destroyer as long as it has the capability to launch a missile to destroy a target many hundreds of miles away.
    While I too would like to see the numbers of destroyers and frigates @tarunraju has posted above it's simply impractical to wish for such numbers soon.
    What is practical however is the numbers of corvettes and littoral vessels. We can have multiple yards churning out these relatively easy to build and cheap vessels at the rate of one every 36 months.Vast numbers of these workhorses can and should be utilized for regular patrol duties in the IOR while bigger Capital ships can be used to fly the flag in farther locales.
    Look I don't say we don't need destroyers and frigates . What I do say is we need to prioritize the construction of 30-40 such missile armed light frigates/corvettes that can build up our numbers quickly before we go all out on multi billion dollar Aegis behemoths.
    The point to note here is that each Kolkata can target and sink 16 warships with her missiles, but then so can a light corvette like the buyan.
    Submarines are best fought with a mix of submarines and aircraft. While we have the gold standard in maritime reconnaissance aircraft we lack severely in the numbers of SSK required.Here again as I've posted in the P75I thread I believe we should go for 20 kilos instead of buying 6 slightly better platforms.
    See my whole point is that quantity has a quality of it's own and while we shall have 10-12 top of the line destroyers in the near future they are not going to be enough to eyeball the 30 odd destroyers and 50 frigates the PLAN has at it's disposal. We need smaller stealth capable missile armed combatants to fill in the gaps.
    As for the Buyans operating from a Russian lake, that does not matter as long as they have a displayed capability to attack a CBG deployed in the Mediterranean from that lake.
     
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  9. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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  10. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

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  11. Adioz

    Adioz Irregular member

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    1. Destroyers have area air defence capabilities and frigates have limited air-defence capability. This is a prerequisite if our Indian Navy plans to go for a major naval conflict in the future (near or distant). They do actually plan to have a navy capable of encountering PLAN and want a force that can exercise, primarily, sea control and not sea denial. This is evident as they plan to induct 5 aircraft carriers and 4 MRSVs (LHD or LHA) which are a platform meant for power projection. These fleet mother ships need area air-defence protection.

    2. Corvettes are primarily meant for littoral combat. They have limited air defence capabilities and the ones you mentioned have no such capability whatsoever. Yes a large number of corvettes can match the firepower of a small number of destroyers but they cannot do so against a well prepared enemy. Such an enemy can utilise his advantage of greater radar range and an area defence capability that such a formation based on swarm tactics lack. You need to saturate the enemy's air defence with enough cruise missiles whereas the enemy does not face such a disadvantage. He can destroy a greater number of vessels with the same number (if not less) of missiles that you need to destroy his ships (by saturating a tiered system of, first, their area air defence ship, then a ship's individual air defence system.)

    3.Corvettes lack powerful radars and helicopter capabilities as well as sea endurance which is the primary attribute of a surface combat vessel meant to perform blue-water ops.

    4. Networking a spread out force of corvettes is much more complex than a smaller force of destroyers and frigates. The response of such a force is extremely sluggish.

    5. The Russians have always favored greater numbers. Look at their tank doctrine. They have only recently realised (after operation Desert Storm) that swarm tactics might fail in the future as battlefield survivability becomes increasingly difficult to attain.

    6. The Russians follow similar tactics of swarm attacks for the navy but it is also partially done in order to protect and patrol their gigantic coastline. The Caspian fleet of the Russian Navy only has two frigates. Thus the reason why they launched the missiles primarily from corvettes.

    7. Attacking ISIS is different than attacking a blue water navy.

    8. I agree that the destroyers are not a good option if we want to prevent a 26/11 style infiltration, but the current number of corvettes should be sufficient for something like that. We do lack enough blue-water combatants for protecting the 5 aircraft carriers and 4 MRSVs that we plan to field in the future.

    9. We do have a budget constraint and a rather unrealistic timeline for the naval modernisation. However, we cannot shy away from our responsibilities as the dominant naval power of South Asia (and in the future, the Indian Ocean). Cost-effectiveness is secondary to capabilities. Maybe the Navy needs a larger share of the Defence budget.

    10. I believe that wars between great powers are not obsolete. The job of a security establishment is to make sure that a worst-possible-case scenario can be effectively dealt with. Geopolitics should not overtly cloud their thinking.


    Edit:
    Another point in the destroyer basket: they may, in future, field ballistic missile defence and anti-satellite capabilities which cannot be deployed on a corvette.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  12. salute

    salute Senior Member Senior Member

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    and lhd or lpd how many of them ???

    ssn should be twice of that,around 20,
    AC should be 6 as navy requires 4 active and 2 in reserve,

    why littoral ships it carries only hellfire missile with 8 km range and no cruise missile or anti ship missile,
    instead destroyers and frigates may required twice of those numbers,
    because they gonna required for AC bg and others for guarding indian ocean,

    ssbn also gonna require twice of that number if india wants to put some of them as permanent holding at pacific ocean.
     
  13. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The IN needs to plan for an area denial stratagem against the superior numbers the PLAN will be fielding against it for the next three to four decades at least. We are looking at having some ten odd top of the line destroyers and another 19 frigates serving as the offensive backbone of the Navy well into the 2020's.The PLAN on the other hand shall probably have even overtaken the American navy in terms of combat platforms deployed, these shall include at least 50 Destroyers and 70 frigates(currently the PLAN deploys 30 destroyers and 50 frigates) and another 5-8 055 series heavy cruisers,as such the possibility of us employing an all out Sea Control stratagem against the PLAN is unlikely. What we need to prepare for and plan for is using large numbers of small stealthy missile armed craft craft as capability fillers for the IOR. Long range cruise missile attacks launched from small stealthy craft can surprise and even defeat larger more observable targets. The Visby class is supposed to have the RCS of a fishing dinghy, add to that the 8 Ashms each of these ships carry and you have a potential surprise ambush hunter par excellance!
    As far as power projection is concerned we shall still need carriers , destroyers and frigates to form CBG's capable of operating beyond the air superiority umbrella of the IAF. The stealth frigates i mention are never meant to play an offensive role, they are meant to undertake the offensive defence duties of the Destroyers and frigates while still staying safely within the air cover of the Sukhois of the IAF.This frees more destroyers from defence duties to beef up the CBG's that will be required to support the carriers and the LHD's.

    As stated earlier these boats are meant to operate within the air defence umbrella of their host air force so they do not require a heavy SAM capability. As far as radars are concerned Missiles can be targeted and guided by means of SATNAV. The ship does not need to do much more than fire it, detection of OPFOR assets again can be handled by Maritime surveillance aircraft and satellites.
    Yes we need far more capability in both to even match the Russians let alone the Americans.


    Missile Corvettes are not meant for blue water ops!They are littoral vessels that pack a long range offensive punch and that is all they are meant to do!


    These are meant to operate in wolfpacks and it is in such small grousp that they are most effective.
    Remember the raid on Karachi in 71? Our missile boats sunk half the Pakistani navy in a surprise strike with minimal involvement of any capital vessels. This should speak volumes about the capability of suchj missile armed craft.

    Numbers have a quality all their own!
    As far as tanks are concerned Hitler went for quality the Russians went for quantity , we all know who won!


    Those two frigates from the most powerful naval force in the Caspian and as such the Russians have no need to add more large ships.
    As far as patrolling a large coastline is concerned at 7517km long our coastline is not very small either, we still need more patrol vessels to free capital ships for CBG duties.


    True on all counts!

    We have lesser numbers of blue water assets and green water assets than we require, my idea is to free the blue water assets for CBG duties by building more cheap green water assets that can be built and brought into service far more rapidly. For example a Kamorta class corvette costs roughly one ninth that of a Kolkata and is built in approximately half the time.
    What I'm saying is that we free our large PSU and private yards from building these vessels and hand construction of these to the smaller private sector yards and smaller PSU yards. this shall help us rapidly add combatants while also freeing up capacity for building more destroyers and frigates.

    Capabilities are dependent on cost whether we like it or not. "An army always marches on it's stomach"

    Any future Naval war between great powers shall be decided by the cruise missile and the submarine. Yes we need to prepare for Worst case scenarios always.

    I agree with you on this one this is a role in which the Destroyer still excels, However i believe that future destroyers and cruiser class vessels need to have far more SAMs than the 32 the KOLKATA carries!
     
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  14. salute

    salute Senior Member Senior Member

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    @bengalraider
    so all you are saying to build small stealthy boats to free bigger boats from guarding duties and put them AC bg formation,
    its a nice tactic and effective if india builts awesome stealth missile crafts,
    and in quantity because small boats not gonna have enough weapons to make a stand for longer duration,
    they gonna be built for speed,shoot and scoot,
    and small boats dont have mf star or aegis like radars and sonars,

    india gonna have 5 AC something like 3 active and 2 reserve,
    and they gonna put something like 2 destroyers and 2 frigates and 1 or 2 subs for each AC,
    so india gonna requires 10 destroyers and 10 frigates just for AC bg,
    that means india gonna need more than 10 destroyers,

    india has very long coastline on both east and west directions and vast open ocean in south all the way down to antractica.
     
  15. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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  16. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Six is too low a number, I believe we'll eventually need a fleet of hundred such boats.What we need is a flotilla of twenty such boats at each of the four coastlines of peninsular India and another flotilla of twenty at the Andamans.
     
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  17. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    I think they are relatively bigger size ..but we need Small boats can capable to fire such anti shipping missiles like URAN or Exocet missiles

    Here is the Chinese missile boat ..comes with four to eight such missile, PLAN operates more than 80 such boats

    [​IMG]

    even the so called Immediate support vessel program funded by the ONGC to ensure the safety of the rigs.. boat comes with MG only.

    [​IMG]

    and this is the recently launched fast attack craft ..even it don't have the missile firing option..atleast some SPIKE NLOS is better for such boats ..rather than using it's 30mm gun, they plans to build some six plus boats

    [​IMG]
     
  18. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    India To Procure New Warships As It Targets Blue Water Naval Presence

    The Indian Navy has issued a request for information (RFI) to support a planned new corvette programme as it intends to procure seven to 10 next-generation corvettes (NGCs) class of ships from Indian shipyards.


    According to the RFI document, these NGCs will be capable of anti-submarine warfare operations, local naval defence, maritime interdiction operations, offensive surface-surface missile (SSM) attack and visit, board, search and seizure operations. The ship should carry a minimum of eight SSMs. The new corvettes will also sport a gun with a stealth feature having range not less than 15 km. The ship will also be fitted with a combat management system to facilitate a quick response for operations at sea.


    The aim of the RFI is to assist in finalising specifications for a next-generation, multipurpose corvette. The first part of the RFI incorporates operational characteristics and features that should be met by the NGCs. The second part of the RFI states the methodology of seeking response of Indian shipyards.

    The program can be seen as an effort to tackle the chronic shortage of warships. The Indian Navy, which looks at the Indian Ocean as the primary area of influence and is designated to play the most prominent role in securing the region and acting as a net security provider, needs to have at least 212 warships against the currently operational fleet of just 139.

    http://swarajyamag.com/insta/defenc...ships-as-it-targets-blue-water-naval-presence
     
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  19. rohit b3

    rohit b3 Regular Member

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    Is this the same as the 6 Missile Boats the IN was looking for? Or is this different and a follow on to a more bigger Kamorta?
     
  20. republic_roi97

    republic_roi97 Senior Member Senior Member

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    We need to outsmart china, not outnumber it, just build more accurate and faster missile systems and electronics and deploy them on smaller yet stealthier ships. If they have an AC, we have a lot of brahmos. We just need to outsmart them.
     
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  21. India22

    India22 Regular Member

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    1 Aircraft Carrier
    10 Destroyer
    20 Frigates
    32 Corvettes(all 3 stealth and missile armed)
    20 stealth attack submarines with Nirbhaya, Brahmos and torpedoes.
    Amphibious Warfare ship 3
    Oiler 5
    Gunboat for coastal patrolling 100
    Other ships not more than 16.

    We have to understand Indian navy does not have the capability to engage Chinese navy in South China Sea, certainly not using surface ships. Only submarines are our chance to go there and hit. Similarly Chinese navy does not have the capability to be present in Indian Ocean with Carrier Battle Force, just too vulnerable. They too will use submarines. Further India is not contesting against US to gain dominance in Indian Ocean. On the other hand PN can be taken out by land based IAF. So India needs to boast anti-submarine warfare capability, mountain divisions and artillery.
     
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