Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft (ASW-SWC) vessels are being built by Cochin Shipyard (CSL) and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE) for the Indian Navy.
The ASW vessels will replace the ageing Abhay-class corvettes that entered service with the Indian Navy in 1989. The construction of these vessels forms a part of the Government of India’s Make In India initiative.
The ASW-SWC will perform subsurface surveillance on coastal waters, coordinated ASW operations with aircraft, and destroy subsurface targets in inland waters. The warships can also perform search and rescue operations during both day and night in coastal areas, defend intruding aircraft, and lay mines on the sea bed.
The steel-cutting ceremony of the ASW-SWC vessels was held at Cochin Shipyard, Kochi, in December 2020.
ASW-SWC ship development
The request for proposal for the development of ASW-SWC was issued by the Indian Navy to defence public sector undertaking (DPSU) shipyards and Indian private shipyards in April 2014. CSL and GRSE emerged as the L1 and L2 bidders respectively for the construction and supply of 16 ASW-SWC vessels.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed two contracts worth $1.9bn with CSL and GRSE for 16 ships in April 2019. Each shipyard is responsible for building eight vessels under the contracts.
The warships will be built according to the classification society rules and naval ship regulations and will follow marine pollution standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) guidelines.
The first vessel is expected to be delivered in October 2022 and the remaining crafts will be delivered by April 2026.
ASW-SWC ship design and features
The ASW-SWC vessels will have a displacement of 750t and will be equipped with high-performance signature and stealth technologies, making them undetected targets for enemy submarines and other surveillance systems.
The overall length and breadth of the vessel will be 78m and 11.3m respectively. The ship will have a maximum draught of 2.7m at full load. It can operate in coastal waters within 200nm of the base port. The vessel will have the capacity to accommodate nearly 57 personnel, including seven officers.
The ASW-SWC warship can sprint fast for short bursts for maintaining contact with a detected submarine. It will also have the capability of sharing information of enemy submarine with friendly anti-submarine warships and aircraft through sophisticated data link networks.
The warships will be designed to be equipped with various payloads to cater to the vessels’ functions.
Weapons and equipment
The ASW vessels will be armed with torpedoes, rockets, and two 12.7mm stabilised remote control guns with optronic control systems. The mine-laying rails on the vessel will enable it to lay mines on the sea bed.
The shallow watercraft will feature advanced integrated platform management systems such as propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, power generation and distribution machinery, and damage control machinery.
The vessels will be equipped with various automated systems, including integrated platform management system (IPMS), automatic power management system (APMS), and battle damage control system (BDCS).
The anti-submarine warfare ships will feature a hull-mounted sonar, a low-frequency variable depth sonar (LFVDS), and fire control systems for both rocket and torpedo tube launchers.
The ASW vessel will be equipped with water jet propulsion system driven by diesel engines. It will be able to cruise at a maximum speed of 25k at full load and will achieve a range of 1,800nm at 14k speed.
CSL will collaborate with Smart Engineering & Design Solutions (SEDS) and Surma for the development of eight ASW-SWC warships.
SEDS will provide complete design solutions for the vessel, while Surma is responsible for delivering naval survivability management solutions.