Indian Navy Commissions Fourth Kamorta-class ASW Corvette INS Kavaratti

Indian Navy commissioned its fourth Project 28 Kamorta-class anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kavaratti (P31), on Thursday, Oct. 22.

The commissioning ceremony, which was held at Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam, was attended by General Manoj Mukund Naravane, India’s Chief of the Army Staff. The event marked the formal commissioning into the Navy of the last of the four ASW Corvettes, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organization, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Kolkata-based Indian state-owned shipbuilder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE).

Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Eastern Naval Command (ENC), Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena (Retd), Chairman of GRSE, and other dignitaries were also present during the commissioning ceremony.

General Naravane was presented a guard of honour on arrival at the Naval Jetty. The inaugural address was delivered by Rear Adm Saxena (Retd), CMD, GRSE, Kolkata. Vice Adm Atul Kumar Jain FOC-in-C ENC addressed the gathering which was followed by reading out the Commissioning Warrant of the Ship by the Commanding Officer, Commander Sandeep Singh. Subsequently, hoisting of the Naval Ensign onboard for the first time and ‘Breaking of the Commissioning Pennant’ with the National Anthem being played marked the symbolic tradition of commissioning. The Army Chief later unveiled the Commissioning Plaque and dedicated the ship to the nation. He also addressed the gathering attending the commissioning ceremony.

INS Kavaratti is manned by a team comprising twelve officers and 134 sailors with Commander Sandeep Singh at the helm as her first Commanding Officer. The ship would be an integral part of the Eastern Fleet under the Navy’s Eastern Naval Command (ENC).

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.

The keel of Kavaratti was laid on 20 January 2012 by Indian state-owned shipbuilder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE) and she was launched in Kolkata on 19 May 2015. GRSE delivered the vessel to the Navy earlier this year.

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 three 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 a similar displacement, Kamorta-class vessels are considered under-armed as it is not equipped with surface-to air (SAM) missiles or anti-ship missiles (AShM).

The ships are fitted with indigenous missile decoy rockets (chaff) and advanced Electronic Support Measure (ESM) 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.

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