Indian state-owned shipbuilder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) has delivered the fourth Kamorta-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kavaratti (P31), to the Indian Navy on Feb. 18.
The keel of Kavaratti was laid on 20 January 2012 and she was launched in Kolkata on 19 May 2015. The ship takes its name from the Kavaratti, capital of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep in India. It is also the successor ship to the now-decommissioned INS Kavaratti, which was an Arnala-class corvette.
Kamorta-class corvettes, built under the Indian Navy Project 28 (P-28) program, are intended to succeed Kora-class corvettes by precedence and Abhay-class corvettes by role. They are designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house design organization, the Directorate of Naval Design (DND), and constructed by GRSE, Kolkata for an estimated cost of ₹1,700 crores (around $263 million) per vessel.
Kavaratti is India’s second ship to have a superstructure of carbon fiber composite material that has been integrated with its main hull resulting in lower top weight and maintenance costs and improved stealth features. The first ship was the third Kamorta-class corvette, the INS Kiltan (P30), which was commissioned more than two and a half years earlier on Oct. 16, 2017. Kiltan and Kavaratti represent a leap forward in the Navy’s attempts at indigenization with as much as 90% of its content drawn from India itself.
The Kamorta-class corvettes have an overall length of 109 m, a beam of 13.7 m, and displace about 3,500 tonnes at full load.
The corvettes are powered by four Pielstick 12 PA6 STC marine diesel engines that generate power of 3,000 kW (4,000 hp) each. The engines, license-built by Indian company Kirloskar, enable the Kamorta-class vessels to be highly maneuverable with a top speed of 25 knots and a range of about 3,450 nm at 18 knots.
The vessels are equipped with an OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid Gun, four torpedo tube launchers, two RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers and a pair of AK-630M close-in weapon system (CIWS). Compared to vessels of other navies with similar displacement, Kamorta-class vessels are considered under-armed.
The ships are fitted with indigenous missile decoy rockets (Chaff) and advanced ESM (Electronic Support Measure) system to detect and map enemy transmissions and direction finder equipment. The ship boasts of a highly advanced Combat Management System (CMS) and a sophisticated Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS). They are also equipped with an integrated communication system and an electronic warfare (EW) system.
The corvettes are capable of embarking one helicopter, such as a Westland Sea King Mk.42B helicopter operated by the Indian Navy. The ships have a complement of 17 officers and 106 sailors.