Indian Navy

How Would The Indian Navy Look Like In The Next 30 Years?

This Article is Writtern By Krish Yadav

Hello Defence Lovers, As we know that the Indian Navy is a branch of The Great Indian Armed Forces, which is currently the only Blue Water Navy operating in the vast Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf to the Strait of Malacca from its coast. AS of 2020, The Indian Navy operates a fleet of more than 150 vessels and approx. 300 aircraft. Which is for
a Navy like this which operates in a vast region is small in numbers. So, for that, the Indian Navy plans to build up a strong naval force of 200 vessels and 500 aircraft by 2050, According to a statement of a senior naval official. This
expansion is also important due to our rising tensions with our Chinese adversaries. So let’s see what is the future plan of the Indian Navy to expand its fleet.

Surface Ships

Indian Navy currently operates various types of ships like an aircraft carrier, destroyers, frigates, landing ships, etc. And they plan to make it big so let’s see what is the plan of the Indian Navy for its Surface Ships.

Aircraft Carrier

INS Vikrant

INS Vikrant

Currently, the Indian Navy operates only 1 aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. And it plans to commission a 2
nd aircraft carrier INS Vikrant or IAC-1 designed and developed by Cochin Shipyard Limited by August 2022 in the Indian Navy. Currently, it is on sea trials. It has a 45,000 tonnes displacement and could accommodate up to 30 to 40 aircraft (including fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft).

INS Vishal

The Indian Navy is also planning to include a 70,000 tonnes IAC-2 in its fleet also to be developed by Cochin Shipyard Limited to replace INS Vikramaditya in the future by 2030s. As of now some reports this would be a CATOBAR type carrier, unlike IAC-1. For the navy, it is also on cards and plans to develop it.

Amphibious Warfare Ships

Currently, the Indian Navy operates only one Austin-Class amphibious transport dock INS Jalashwa bought from the USA in 2005 and commissioned in 2007. It is of 9,000 to 16,000 tonnes of displacement. The Indian Navy plans to induct 2 amphibious assault vessels firstly 4 later changed of 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of displacement. The potential contender is Spain with Juan Carlos l Class and France with Mistral-class.

Destroyers

Project 15Bravo or Visakhapatnam Class Destroyer

INS Visakhapatnam

The Project 15Bravo or Visakhapatnam Class guided-missile Destroyers is an upgraded version of Kolkata-class destroyers with improvement in its stealth and automation features developed by Mazagaon Dock Limited. They have a displacement of 7,300 tonnes. There is currently 1 ship INS Visakhapatnam is in active service commissioned on 21 November 2021 by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. And 3 more are yet to be commissioned which are INS Mormugao which is to be commissioned in 2022 and currently is on sea trials, INS Imphal in 2024, and INS Surat in 2025. The navy is planning to retire Rajput class destroyers which we operate 5 in number, we have already retired 2 of its ships, and the rest 3 will soon be retiring from their service. Currently, the Indian Navy operates 10 Destroyers.

Frigates

Project-17 Alpha or Nilgiri-Class Frigates

The Project-17 Alpha or Nilgiri-Class Frigates are being built to complement Shivalik Class Frigates with improved stealth features, radar cross-section (RCS), and infrared signature. There is a total of ships 7 to be built 4 by MDL and 3 by GRSE. These ships are 6,670 tonnes in displacement. The first ship INS Nilgiri is expected to be commissioned by August 2022. The Navy is planning to induct all these ships by 2025-2027. All the ships will get the name of the 6 older Nilgiri Class Frigates(Leander Class Frigates), and the last ship will get the new name INS Mahendargiri.

Project 11356 or Talwar Class Frigates

The Project 11356 or Talwar Class Frigates are stealth-guided missile Frigates with better stealth features and armament. They are 3,850 tonnes in displacement. Currently Indian Navy operates 6 ships of this class ordered in 1999 and 2013. In 2016 the deal was signed for 4 additional ships, out of which 2 ships will be developed by Yantar Shipyard and 2 ships by Goa Shipyard. Ships developed by Russia are expected to be commissioned between 2022 and 2023, and the last 2 ships by 2026. There is also fact here and that is The Indian Government bought 2 engines from Ukraine separately as they refused to give them to Russians due to their ongoing conflict and then they fitted that into the ships. Currently, the Indian Navy has 13 Frigates.

Corvettes

Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW-SWC) Corvette

The Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW-SWC) Corvette is being specially made for anti-submarine warfare in the Indian Ocean and near the Indian coast. These are 700 and 750 tonnes corvettes going to be developed by CSL and GRSE respectively. A total of 16 corvettes are planned. They are being inducted as a replacement for Abhay-Class Corvettes. The first ship is to be handover to the Indian Navy in October 2022. And the Indian Navy plans to commission all the 16 ships in service by 2026.

Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs)

Next-Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs) are a being made for anti-surface warfare corvettes. These ships will come with stealth features, low radar cross-section (RCS), infrared, acoustic, and magnetic signatures. They will have a displacement of 2200-2800 tonnes. On 23 February 2021 Cochin Shipyard won the bid to develop 6 ships of this class. They will carry 8 surface-to-surface missiles which probably will be BrahMos and also surface-to-air missiles. Currently
the Indian Navy operates 22 Corvettes.

Mine Countermeasure Vessels

Right now the Indian Navy does not operate any Minesweeper as the last minesweepers of the Indian Navy were of Pondicherry class which was retired in 2019. The Indian Navy released a RFI for 4 Minesweepers which were to be leased for 10-15 years from a Foreign navy. The best chances here are of the Russian Navy’s Alexandrit class minesweepers. Right now the requirement is 12 minesweepers.

Patrol Vessels

Next Generation Off-shore Patrol Vessels

The Defence Ministry on 17 December 2020 cleared a tender for acquiring 11 OPV’s for the Indian Navy. Currently, the Indian Navy operates 10 OPVs. Right now only RFI is issued.

Replenishment Ships

HSL-Class Fleet Support Vessels

The HSL-Class Fleet Support Vessels are a series of 5 fleet tankers going to be built by Hindustan Shipyard (HSL) and Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard. They will be of 45,000 tonnes of displacement. And the first ship is to be delivered in 4 years after the contract signing.

Survey Vessels

GRSE Class Survey Vessels

The GRSE Class survey vessels are being built to conduct a deep-water hydrographic survey of ports, navigational channels, EEZ and collection of oceanographic data for the navy. They are 3,300 tonnes in displacement being
built by GRSE. The first ship is expected to be commissioned by October 2022.

Other Ships

Indian navy is also buying 2 Diving Support Vessels of 7,650 tonnes and 4 bollards pull tugs from HSL.

Submarines

Above we have seen the future ships of the Indian Navy now let’s see its plan for submarines. In the current scenario, the Indian Navy operates 1 nuclear-powered (SSBN) and 16 conventional diesel-electric submarines. In the current situation, the numbers are low as compared to our Chinese adversary. But the navy plans to take the fleet size to 24 by 2030 according to a report.

Nuclear Powered Submarines

Arihant Class Submarine

The Arihant class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) are of 6,000 to 7,700 tonnes displacement being built by Navy Shipbuilding Centre. There is a total of 4 submarines planned, the first ship INS Arihant was commissioned in 2016 and the second ship INS Arighat is expected to be commissioned in August 2022. The other 2 submarines are expected to be commissioned by the end of the decade. These first 2 submarines INS Arihant and INS Arighat are capable of firing 12 K15 SLBM or 4 K-4 SLBM, while the other 2 submarines of the class can carry double the missiles. This is the first indigenously made nuclear-powered submarine by India and also made India the only country after the 5 permanent members of UNSC which developed its own submarine.

S-5 Class Submarine

The S-5 Class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine is the successor of the Arihant class submarine. It will weigh almost double the weight of Arihant class submarine almost around 13,500 tonnes and would also carry 12-16 K6 MIRV SLBM or K-4 SLBM. There is a plan to build a total of 3 of these submarines. Its production is expected to start in 2022. The submarine will enter service by 2030 according to a report and will be built at a cost of 90,000 crores as a part of the Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV) project making it the costliest defence program in Indian history. There is not much information about this as it is a highly classified project.

Chakra III (Akula) class Submarine

The Akula class nuclear fast attack submarine has been taken on lease from the Russian Navy for 10 years and will be delivered to India by 2025. We have already operated the same class of submarine before between 2012 to 2021
and then it is returned back to Russia.

Project 75 Alpha

Project 75 Alpha aims to procure 6 nuclear-powered fast attack submarines to be built by the Indian Navy’s Navy Shipbuilding Centre. There is an estimated cost of US$16 Billion. While the first ship’s construction is expected to start in 2023-2024 the first submarine will enter service by 2032. The main contender in this project is France’s Naval Group with its Barracuda class nuclear attack submarines. We can see that the Indian Navy has mostly kept this projects secret
and there is not much information available about it.

Conventional diesel-electric submarines

Kalvari class or Scorpene-class submarines

INS Vela

The Kalveri class or Scorpene-class diesel-electric attack submarines are of 1600 to 1770 tonnes displacement designed by French Naval Group and are being manufactured by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders. There is a total of 6 submarines to be built out of which 4 are already commissioned and the rest 2 are expected to be commissioned between 2022-2023. DRDO is developing its own AIP system which will be installed in it from 2023.

Project 75I Class Submarine

The Project 75I class submarine is a planned class of diesel-electric submarines. It is a follow-on of Kalveri class submarines, which will be built jointly by L&T Shipbuilding and Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders. In July 2021, the MOD issued an RFP worth 43,000 crores for the construction.

Midget Submarines

Indian Navy Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

Under this project, the Indian Navy will acquire 2 midget submarines of 150tonnes from Hindustan Shipyard for special operations of MARCOS.

Naval Aircrafts

Fighter Aircrafts

Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF)

The Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF) is a multi-role combat fighter being developed jointly by ADA and HAL for the Indian Navy to replace the MiG-29K aircraft. The model of this aircraft had been unveiled at Aero Indian airshow 2021. It will be a 2 engine medium-weight fighter. We can say that it is a naval version of the Indian Airforce ORCA programme.

Also Read, In Depth Analysis- Twin Engine Deck Based Fighter (TEDBF): Part-1

Multirole Carrier Borne Fighter

In January 2017, the Indian Navy released an RFI for 57 multi-role carrier-borne fighters later revised to 36 fighters in 2020. It is being been released for the airwing of INS Vikrant. The main contenders here are French Dassault Rafale-M
and Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet. Right now the Indian Navy is conducting a test on Rafale at INS Hansa. And the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet will be tested by the navy in March 2022. It will make more sense to purchase Rafale as the Airforce is already operating them so the parts will be available easily.

Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial System

In 2021 Central government approves the Navy’s proposal to buy 10 Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial Systems for around 1,300 crores to deploy on the large warships of the Indian Navy.

MQ-9B Sea Guardian UAV

In 2020 the Indian Navy leases 2 MQ-9B Sea Guardian Drones from the USA for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions over the Indian Ocean, due to the rising interest of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean. It should be noted that these drones are unarmed. India is also in talks with General Atomics to purchase 30 MQ-9A Reaper UAV, out of which 10 naval variants will be provided to the Navy.

Dornier 228

In 2016 a contract was given to HAL for procuring 12 Dornier aircraft for surveillance in Indian Waters. These aircraft are fitted with ‘state-of-the-art’ sensors and equipment and they also have a glass cockpit, Advanced Surveillance
Radar, Electronic Sensors, and networking features. This will enhance the maritime surveillance capability of the Indian Navy.

Boeing P-8I Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft

P8I

In January 2009 Indian Navy ordered 8 P-8I Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft to replace aging Tupolev Tu-142M maritime surveillance turboprops. The Indian Navy also ordered additional 4 aircraft in 2016, taking the fleet size to a total of 12 out of which 1 is still yet to be delivered. 6 more aircraft are also planned but right now are under review of MOD as it cancels many foreign purchases including choppers for the coast guard and short-range SAM missiles so there are chances that this deal will also be canceled, as DRDO is working on a maritime patrol aircraft version of C-295 transport aircraft which are already purchased by India.

Sikorsky MH-60R Romeo Helicopters

MH-60R Helicopter (Pic Credit- Airliners.net)

The MH-60R Romeo helicopters are multi-mission naval utility helicopters built especially for ASW, ASUW, NSW, and SAR operations. In 2020 the Indian Navy signed the deal for 24 helicopters out of which 2 are already delivered to the Indian Navy. Our pilots are already taking training in the USA. These helicopters will replace the aging fleet of Sea King helicopters.

Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning and control helicopter

The Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning and control helicopters are already in service of Indian Navy in a count of 14 helicopters. In 2019 the Indian Government cleared the deal for 10 Kamov Ka-31 helicopters from Russia which are expected to be in service by 2025 as the production is slow.

Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH)

HAL IMRH

The Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) is a medium-lift helicopter being developed by HAL for the armed forces to replace the fleet of aging Mil Mi-17 and Mil Mi-8 helicopters. In July 2021, the navy formally got involved in this project as they will acquire the naval version of this helicopter for ASW and ASUW roles. Its first flight is expected between 2025-26 and production could start from 2028 if everything will go as planned. The navy plans to induct a total of 123 helicopters to replace Sea King and HAL Chetak helicopters.

Conclusion

If we analyze it properly then the Indian Navy has really big plans for the future for all its fleet whether it is
ships, submarines, or aircraft, not only its fleet but Indian Navy is also upgrading its infrastructure in Andaman and
The Nicobar Islands as well as Lakshadweep. As India is expanding its fleet we can also see that the Indian Navy is
purchasing most of the ships from Indian Vendors as right now there are a total of 43 vessels are under construction out of which 41 vessels are under construction in Indian Shipyards which will also give a boost to Aatma-nirbhar
Bharat Initiative. As India is a growing superpower in the Indo-Pacific then the Indian Navy needs to be strong and
modernized to counter any threats from its adversaries. I hope you liked it and known something from this

Thank you for reading.

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