INS Kamorta: A name for which India should be proud of. It is India’s first indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, an integral part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command.
On 23rd August 2014, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley formally commissioned the INS Kamorta into the Navy at the Naval Dockyard in Vishakhapatnam. With the hope that INS Kamorta will serve our nation effectively for a very long time, Defence Minister said that indigenous manufacturing of defence equipment is one of the main initiatives of the Government of India. Project 28 is one such project whose basic aim is at developing an indigenous warship construction industry in India. After INS Kamorta, there are three more works under way in project 28 for the manufacturing of ASW stealth corvettes.
However, it took India 8 long years to finally see the commissioning of the INS Kamorta, the work on which began in the year 2006, and launched in 2010. The maiden trials began in June 2013 and finally handed over to the Indian Navy on 12th July 2014. It is reported that the initial trial runs were not up to the mark and the engine also failed. The trial runs were conducted in Hoogly rivers. Thankfully, after the rectification of all the problems, INS Kamorta is now officially available for the Indian Navy. The ship, with Commander Manoj Jha as the First Commanding Officer, is manned by a crew comprising 13 officers and 173 sailors.
Design and features of INS Kamorta
The Directorate of Naval Design (DND) has designed INS Kamorta. It was constructed by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE). The ship has been named after an island in Andaman and Nicobar. According to media reports, the final cost of the ship was approximately Rs 7,800 crore.
There are four diesel engines in the propulsion system of the ship and it has a maximum speed of 25 knots. This ship is built with steel of special grade high-tensile (DMR249A), the manufacturer of which is our very own Steel Authority of India (SAIL). The 3800 kw four diesel engines have been made by Kirloskar and torpedo launchers by the Larsen & Toubro.
Indeed, it is a matter of great pride for India for as each and every part of the warship (almost 90%) is built in India. Its enhanced stealth features make it less likely to detect. It also has enhanced ‘X’ hull form and full beam superstructure. This makes the warship to have low radar cross section. The ship also uses Infra Red Signature Suppression (IRSS) which gives it very low under water voice signature. It has superb sea keeping and manoeuvrability features while also ensuring lower noise and vibration levels.
Salient features of the warship
“India has been concerned with the presence of Chinese warships near Indian waters and the launch of these news warships is seen as a move to increase its maritime security,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.
No wonder, INS Kamorta is equipped with a wide range of weapon systems to enhance the security features of our country, especially near Indian waters.
- The warship is loaded with Naval gun systems, medium range gun and close-in-weapon system, mounted on either side of the deck. This helps in close-point safeguarding against anti-ship missiles, guided weapons, low flying aircraft and small craft.
- The ship has heavy missiles which can counter-attack anti-ship missiles, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft .
- The heavy weighted torpedoes and anti-submarine ASW rocket launchers mounted on the vessels help in attacking the enemy submarines.
- The strong landing deck of the warship can support the operation of a single ASW helicopter, with a foldable hangar door.
- The sensors of the warship include fire control radars, HUMSA (Hull Mounted Sonar Advanced) and indigenous Revathi 3D air surveillance radar which have the capability to identify the targets exceeding 200 km.
- The Electronic Warfare System (EWS) installed on the ship further increases the survivability.
- The ship is capable of fighting in nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) conditions.
INS Kamorta has a number of “firsts”
- First warship of the Navy whose all weapon systems are manufactured indigenously.
- First Indian Navy ship to be built with carbon fiber reinforced plastic. This helps in reducing weight and life cycle maintenance costs.
- First Indian anti-submarine warfare corvette which is completely built in India.
- First indigenous stealth corvette built by India.
- First warship to have the Kavach decoy system for protection against anti-ship missiles.
- First ship to have rail-less helo traversing system and foldable hangar door. This is used for handling a helicopter.
India is already in the way of constructing a three-dimensional blue-water Navy with ships and submarines to take care of India’s huge strategic and security interests in the region stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Strait. No doubt, INS Kamorta is a significant step towards India’s quest for self-reliance in indigenous warship building.