All three Kolkata Project 15A destroyers were launched between 2006 and 2010. The INS Kolkata, in March 2006, the INS Kochi in September 2009, and the INS Chennai in April 2010. They were meant to be in service between 2008 and 2012. However, numeorus systems, particularly the joint venture missile systems with Israel, and portions of the Ukrainian propulsion system delayed the final outfitting of all three vessels. It was almost seven years after the Kolkata was launched before it started sea trials in 2013. During those sea trials, machinary issues sent the vessel back to the yards for repair. Official hand over to the Indian Navy was delayed from late summer 2013 until the summer of 2014.
Kolkata was finally officially commissioned on August 16, 2014. Though technical problems with her main anti-air weaponry, the jointly Israel-India developed Barak-8 missile appear to have been solved, production of the missiles has languished. Additional delays have been resulted from the July-September 2014 conflict between Hamas and Israel. Once shipped to Israel, the missiles will have to be installed, tested and trialed on the Kolkata. As a result, it is not expected that Kolkata will have a full compliment of 48 Barak-8 LR AAW armament now until sometime later in 2015.
Ultimately, the Barak-8 missiles will be produced in India for the numerous Indian vessels that intend to use them, which now includes all three Project 15A Kolkata destroyers, the follow-on class of four Project 15B destroyers, the new Project 17A FFGs (seven of which are planned to be built), the building indigenous INS Vikrant aircraft carrier, and the follow-on, 2nd indgenous Indian carrier.
Another concern for the INS Kolkata, in addition to not having her primary anti-air armament, is that she will go to sea without a Towed Array Sonar (TAS). The indigenous system did not meet Indian requirements and the Indian Navy is now ferverishly looking to purchase a system to integrate into the vessel from elsewhere. This means the vessel will have to rely on her helicopters and bow array for anti-submarine detection and targeting. Towed Array Sonars allow surface combatants to locate submarines at much longer range in varying sea conditions and depths.
Both of these issues, the long range anti-air armament, and the TAS are expected to be corrected and fully implemented into the following two vessels.
The second vessel, the INS Kochi, is now expected to go on her sea trails in late 2014 for commissioning in ealry 2015. The third, INS Chanaai, is to follow with commissioning planned in early 2016.
Having said all of this, the Kolkata Class's anti-surface armament is very strong. She has 16 VLS cells for the Indian Brahmos, long-range, super-sonic anti-surface/shipping missiles. In addition, with her two ASW helicopters, her two RBU-6000 ASW rocket systems, her ASW torpedos the armament they carry for anti-submarine warfare is also strong.
Length: 535 ft (163m)
Beam: 57 ft (17.5m)
Draft: 17 ft (5m)
Displace (Full Load): 7,000 tons
Propulsion: COGAG: Zorya 2 × M36E gas turbine plants
- 4 × DT-59 reversible gas turbines
- 2 × RG-54 gearboxes
- 2 × Bergen/GRSE KVM-diesel engines, 9,900 hp/ea
- 4 × 1mWe Wärtsilä WCM-1000 generator sets driving - Cummins KTA50G3 engines and Kirloskar 1MV AC generators
- Two shafts
Speed: 30+ knots
Range: 8,000 nautical miles (18 knots - est)
Crew: 250 (est.)
- IAI EL/M-2248 MF-STAR AESA
- IAI EL/M-2238 L-band STAR surveillance radar
- BEL HUMSA-NG sonar
- BEL RAWL-02 /Thales LW-08 D-band air search radar
- BEL Nagin active towed array sonar
- BEL Electronic (EMCCA Mk4) combat management system
01 x 76mm gun
16 x VLS Brahmos Supersonic Cruise Missiles
48 x VLS cell Barak 8 SAM
16 x VLS CIWS Barak 1 SAM
04 x 30mm CIWS AK-630
02 x 2 ASW torpedo launchers
02 x 10 ASD RBU-6000 Rockets
- 2 x Sea King or HAL Dhruv helicopters
Ships in class: 3 built, 4 more planned
----------------- Project 15A Destroyers -----------------In addition, the Kolkata's state of the art sensors and Battle Management Systems, will significantly improve India's area air coverage at sea as well as the strength of multi-mission capabilities. Each vessel has cost India close to 1 billion U.S. dollars. The design was developed by the Indian Navy's Directorate of Naval Design, with detailed design developed by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL). They are the largest naval vessels ever constructed at the Indian naval yards at Mazagon.
INS Kolkata, D63 - L: Mar 2006 C: Aug 2014
INS Kochi, D64 --- L: Sep 2009 C: (Early 2015)
INS Chennai, D65 - L: Apr 2010 C: (Early 2016)
----------------- Project 15B Destroyers -----------------
INS Bengaluru, D66, L: (2018)
INS nnnnnnnn, D67, L: (2019)
INS nnnnnnnn, D68, L: (2020)
INS nnnnnnnn, D69, L: (2021)
The 15A Kolkatas and the follow-on 15B class are intended to be the primary escorts for the new Indian Carriers, the INS Vikramaditya, and the INS Vikrant.
In January 2011, the Indian Cabinet Committee for Security approved four more destroyers to be built as Project 15B ships. The Project 15B vessels will retain the hull form of Kolkata class destroyers and many of the systems. However, there will also be several changes and upgrades to the armament and to the stealth features. These include:
- Adding the new, Indian Nirbhay Land Attack Cruise missile to the VLS inventory, with a 1,000 km range.
- Adding the new, hypersonic, Brahmos II anti-surface/ship missile to the armament, with a 300 km range.
- Adding a new, Extended Range Anti-Aor Missile (ER-SAM) with a range of at least 100 km.
- An imporved superstructure with radar and infrared stealth.
- A fully flush deck, also enhancing stealth.
source: By JEFF HEAD