#DefenseDiaires: 5 of the Indian Navy's most powerful weapons
The Indian Navy Day is celebrated every year on December 4 to honor the nation's brave seafarers who secure the nation's vast maritime frontiers. With a lethal combination of warships, submarines, and aircraft, the Indian Navy (IN) has emerged as one of the world's most powerful navies. In this timeline, we look at the IN's five most powerful weapons.
The mighty 45,000-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is the flagship of the Indian Navy. The warship can deploy over 30 aircraft, including the Mikoyan MiG-29K air-superiority fighter jets, the Kamov-31 airborne early-warning and Kamov-28 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters. The carrier has powerful sensors, and command and control facilities. The INS Vikramaditya provides the IN with a very powerful power-projection tool.
The Kolkata-class is India's first indigenously designed and built modern destroyer. Each of the three destroyers of this class is armed with 16 vertically-launched BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles. The destroyers are also armed with 36 Barak-8 surface-to-air missiles, a 76-mm gun, torpedoes and anti-submarine rockets. They possess an advanced MF-STAR Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and a dual-helicopter hangar.
The INS Arihant is India's first and only nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. The stealthy 6,000-tonne warship can carry four 3,500-km ranged K-4 or twelve 700-km ranged K-15 Sagarika nuclear-tipped submarine-launched ballistic missiles. The Arihant completes India's nuclear trident, i.e. the capability to deliver nuclear warheads from land, air, and sea. This ensures nuclear deterrence is maintained at all times against India's nuclear-armed neighbors.
India has eight US-made Boeing P-8I Poseidon aircraft ASW aircraft and has ordered four more. This plane is equipped with the world's most advanced sensors to detect submarines up to 2,000-km away from India's shores, making it a critical power-projection tool. It can also spy on enemy warships. The plane is four Harpoon anti-ship missiles and six-to-eight Mk-54 torpedoes to destroy enemy vessels.
The INS Chakra is India's sole nuclear attack submarine. The 12,000-tonne INS Chakra is powered by a 190 MW nuclear reactor and can travel at speeds of over 30 knots. It is armed with a wide array of advanced sensors, torpedoes, and tactical missiles. The submarine, leased by India from Russia, has an unlimited range. It can hunt and neutralize enemy submarines and warships.