The Indian Navy has received its first tranche of Kavach naval decoy system and anti-submarine rockets from Ammunition Factory Khadki (AFK) in a bid to boost its maritime war capabilities.
AFK has delivered three variants of Kavach naval decoy system: the long-range, medium-range and short-range chaff rockets with ranges of 12km, 5km and 1km respectively.
The navy also received versions of the Rocket Guided Bomb (RGB)-60 and RGB-12 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) rockets with strike ranges of 1.5km and 6km respectively, as part of a deal signed earlier to replace the currently deployed Russian variants on naval vessels.
The surface-to-water anti-submarine missiles can be launched from the ship and are capable of destroying any submarine at depths of 30m-300m.
Indian Naval Armament Inspection director general rear admiral S Kulshrestha said that the induction of the rockets would strengthen the fire-power of the Indian Navy and will reduce its dependence on foreign countries.
Naval Armament Inspectorate DG rear admiral Brijesh Jhang added that the chaff decoys and anti-submarine rockets would provide hard and soft kill capabilities for the ships to neutralise enemy attacks effectively.
"Disintegration of the USSR led to drying up of supply pipeline, affecting our inventory level while our ships continued to have the launchers," Jhang added.
"Therefore, to meet our armament requirement, Ordnance Factory Board and the Indian Navy took up the challenge to indigenise these ASW rockets and achieve self-reliance in this field."
AFK senior general manager BN Singh said: "The cost of each rocket is about Rs6-7 lakh. We are now working on the research and development of the next version of RGB, which has a range of 8km."
AFK will deliver 5,000 RGBs for the Indian Navy in the next five years in addition to 4,000 Kavach variants that will be delivered over a period of three years.