#DefenseDiaries: Shivalik-class frigates are India's ultimate power-projection tools
The Indian Navy's (IN) three Shivalik-class frigates are the first multirole stealth warships ever to be developed and constructed indigenously by India. The INS Shivalik and her sister ships, INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, are the largest and most advanced frigates in the IN's fleet. Since being commissioned in 2010, these silent and state-of-the-art deadly warships have excelled in all parts of naval warfare.
Development of Shivalik-class frigates
The IN conceptualized the need for the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigates in 1997. The Directorate of Naval Design and Naval Design Bureau designed the warships. Mumbai-based Mazgaon Dock Limited began constructing the warships in 2000. But, construction was delayed due to design changes and availability of high-grade steel. The INS Shivalik was commissioned in 2010, INS Satpura in 2011 and INS Sahyadri in 2012.
Shivalik-class frigates possess wide array of advanced sensors
The Shivalik-class warships displace 6,200-tons and feature Combined Diesel or Gas (CODAG) propulsion allowing them to reach speeds of 32 knots. They possess different foreign and indigenously-developed sensors. This includes the MR-760 Fregat M2EM 3-D radar, an air search radar, HUMSA (hull-mounted sonar array) and ATAS / Thales Sintra towed array systems, BEL Aparna fire control radar and BEL Ajanta weapons control radar.
Warships are armed with deadly supersonic BrahMos missiles
The Shivalik-class frigates carry eight vertically-launched BrahMos supersonic long-range anti-ship and anti-surface cruise missiles which have a range of 300-km. For secondary warfare, the warships are equipped with a 76mm Oto Melara which can aim surface targets 15km away and aerial targets 8-km away. It also features two twin 533 mm torpedo tubes and two RBU-6000 rocket launchers for anti-submarine warfare.
Shivalik-class frigates carry over 50 advanced surface-to-air missiles
The Shivalik-class frigates carry 32 Barak-1 short-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM) co-developed by India and Israel. The Barak-1 missiles can intercept warplanes and incoming missiles up to 12-km away. It also carries 24 Shtil-1 SAMs having a range of 40-km. The warships possess four AK-630 6-barreled guns as close-in weapon systems as the second-layer defense against incoming missiles.
Warships can carry up to two helicopters
The Shivalik-class frigates feature a flight deck with an enclosed hangar that can hold up to two helicopters, such as the AgustaWestland Sea King helicopter or the indigenously developed HAL Dhruv helicopter.
Shivalik-class frigates unlock India's blue-water navy capability
The Shivalik-class warships are armed to the teeth and possess state-of-the-art sensors, allowing them to conduct anti-ship, anti-surface, anti-ship or anti-submarine warfare. With their long-range, they are capable of projecting India's power far from its coast, assisting the IN's blue-water navy ambitions. The Project 17 frigates will be succeeded by the under-development upgraded Project 17A stealth frigates. Seven Project 17A frigates will be built.