Triput and Talwar For domination
In October 2018, India signed a deal with Russia to purchase 2 Grigorovich class frigates that were previously being built for Russian Navy’s Black Sea fleet. 2 more such frigates were decided to be built by Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) in India with the help of Yantar Shipyard. Grigorovich class frigates are improved variants of Talwar class frigates which are in service at the Indian Navy since 2002.
BHEL 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount
For the two frigates being built in India by Goa Shipyard Limited, GSL has awarded the order of supplying the upgraded Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). BHEL will be responsible for manufacturing, installing, commissioning of the system and maintaining the SRGM. The 76mm SRGM is the main gun installed on several Indian Navy ships ranging from Kamorta class corvettes to Visakhapatnam Class destroyers. The upgraded SRGM will be built at one of BHELs’ Haridwar manufacturing plant. The upgraded main gun can engage fast manoeuvring and non manoeuvring targets. It can fire smart programmable ammunition with higher ranges.
Following the initiative of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (self reliant India), the upgraded Super Rapid by BHEL can also be used in future Indian Navy warships that are to be built.
“New opportunities in upgrades” (as stated by BHEL):
- Increased flexibility to manage different type of ammunition.
- Guidance system for the DART guided projectile.
- Standard supply includes the new Digital Control Console (DCC) capitalising the digital technology to increase the functions available to operator and to the maintainers.
- Automatically handling & selecting of different kind of ammunition contained in each branch;
- Both beaches can be alternatively connected to the hoist.
- Movement of ammunition in branches is reversible.
- Multi Feeding Control Box manages Multiple Feeding Systems.
- Servo Motor Feeding controls the brushless motors to manage the movement of each branch in the feeding, landing and firing actions.
- Local Panel control and local operations to the Feeding branches, unload ammunition, remap and select a particular ammunition.
Triput class frigates
According to the recent GSL documents, the two frigates under construction at Goa Shipyard Limited won’t come under the Talwar classification but their own class of frigates called ‘Triput class’. The Triput class can also be considered as an evolved Talwar class with higher indigenous content.
Major differences between Triput & Talwar class (GSL)
- The standard displacement as per the GSL provided information has been reduced to 3,300 tonnes in Triput compared to 3,490 tonnes in Talwar.
- The range has been increased to 5,000NM (9,260km at 14 knots) compared to the 4,210NM (7,810 km at 14 knots) in Talwar.
- Indigenous 76 MM SRGM as the primary gun instead of the Russian 100 MM A-190E on Talwar.
- 2× indigenous 30 MM Gun Mounts as secondary gun.
- Vertical Launch System (VLS) for 24 Shtil1 compared to the arm launcher for Shtil1 in Talwar class.
- Indigenous torpedo tubes launcher and Rocket launchers.
- Indigenous Detection and Target Designation Radar (SSR-4).
- Indigenous Combat Management System.
- Indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite (Shakti EW).
- Indigenous SONAR (HUMSA NG).
- Active Towed Antenna Sonar (ACTAS). Batch 1 Talwar class frigates were later equipped with ACTAS in their MLU.
Why Goa Shipyard Churning frigate is a big deal?
The first Indian Shipyard to build a Frigate in India was Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), known to have build the Nilgiri Class frigates for the Indian Navy, MDL in 1960s partnered with United Kingdom based Yarrows to build the Nilgiri Class frigates in India, the ships were based on the British Leander class frigates, a total of 6 Nilgiri Class ships were built at the time. The succeeding class, i.e.- Godavari class was the first frigates designed and made in India with several indigenous systems, Indian Navy gave the contract to build 3 Godavari class frigates to Mazagon Dock Limited. The subsequent class, the Brahmaputra class frigates were further improved variant of the Godavari class frigates, the contract of building 3 Brahmaputra class frigates was given to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers limited (GRSE), technology transfers for building the frigates were done by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) to Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers limited (GRSE). With the production of Brahmaputra class, GRSE became the second Indian Shipyard to produce frigates, the new production line doubled the frigate building capacity in India with an option of parallel production at the 2 production lines at MDL & GRSE.
Indian Navy plans to have 200 vessels in the fleet by around 2030, to do that & to reach its ambition of a true blue-water navy, Indian Navy needs more ocean-going vessels. For which Indian Navy requires more Shipyards capable of building large & complex warships to fulfil the need. For the very reason, a new frigate production line has been established at Goa Shipyard Limited, in which GSL will be building the 2 Triput class frigates In India. It is the third Indian Shipyard to achieve the capability of producing frigates with the production of Triput class, Russia’ Yantar Shipyard made the technology transfers for building the Triput class frigates at GSL.
With GRSE & MDL building large frigates & destroyers, GSL can perform the role of building the frigate sized frigates according to the requirements of Indian Navy & help increase the number of frigate production capacity.
How entire frigate fleet stacks up
Indian Navy currently operates a total of 13 frigates of which 1 is Godavari class frigate, 3 Brahmaputra class frigates, 6 Talwar class frigates & 3 are large Shivalik class frigates.
The last frigate of Godavari class, INS Gomati is about to complete its’ service life and is expected to be retired soon.
2 improved Talwar class frigates, Tishul & Tamala are under construction at Yantar Shipyard (Russia) of which the first Frigate, Tishul was launched a few months back. The 2 improved Talwar are part of batch 3 of Talwar class frigates. Both the frigates are expected to be delivered by 2023. 2 Triput class frigates are under construction at Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL), both are expected to be commissioned by 2026-27.
7 Nilgiri Class (large frigates) are under construction, 4 at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), 3 more Nilgiri Class (large frigates) are under construction at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers. All 7 Nilgiri are expected to be delivered by 2025-26, with the lead ship expected to be delivered in 2022. Parallel shipbuilding at 2 Shipyards has cut down on the time taken to build these 7 large frigates, which could have taken more than a decade to complete if only 1 Shipyard was responsible.
Unannounced numbers of Next Generation Frigates (NGF) are planned to be built after the Nilgiri Class. The design, size, armaments etcetera are yet to be disclosed, these new NGF are likely to be delivered in early or mid 2030s depending upon the timeline of planning. By 2026-27, Indian Navy will have a strong fleet of 23 modern frigates, comprising of 3 modernised Brahmaputra class frigates, 6 Talwar class frigates, 2 improved Talwar frigates, 2 Triput class frigates, 3 Shivalik class frigates & 7 Nilgiri class frigates.
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