A graphical image of the Kolkata-class guided missile destroyer of the Indian Navy. Credit: Chanakyathegreat.
Kolkata-class guided missile destroyers were built by Mazagon Docks Limited, Mumbai. Credit: Ajai Shukla.
The hull module of the INS Chennai was built in the assembly shop at the shipyard. Credit: Ajai Shukla.
Kolkata-class destroyers are armed with BrahMos anti-ship supersonic cruise missile. Credit: Anurag Singla.
Kolkata-class has a flight deck and enclosed hangar to support two medium sized helicopters, such as the HAL Dhruv or AgustaWestland Sea King. Credit: Dyvroeth.

The Kolkata-class guided missile destroyers are the new stealth destroyers built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) for the Indian Navy, under Project 15A. The destroyers are preceded by Type 15 Delhi-class destroyers and succeeded by the Project 15B destroyers.

The Indian Government approved the construction of three Kolkata-class destroyers in May 2000. The first steel was cut for the lead ship in class, INS Kolkata, in March 2003. Her keel was laid in September 2003.

The ship was launched in March 2006 at Mazagon Dock, Mumbai, and delivered to the Indian Navy in July 2014. The vessel was commissioned in August 2014. The navy successfully test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from the INS Kolkata destroyer using the UVLM launcher in February 2015.

The keel of INS Kochi was laid in October 2005. It was launched in September 2009 and commissioned in September 2015.

The last vessel in the class, INS Chennai, was laid in February 2006. It was launched in April 2010 and commissioned in November 2016. The project was delayed due to the complex warship building process.

In January 2011, MDL was awarded a follow-on order for the construction of four P-15B destroyers. The P-15B ship retains the hull form of Kolkata-class and features a stealthier flush deck and advanced weapon systems.

Design and features of the Kolkata-class

Conceptualised by the Indian Navy, the detailed design phase for the class was completed by MDL. Kolkata-class is a follow-on model of the Delhi-class and is fitted with modern weapons and sensor systems. The propulsion system of the Delhi-class was also retained with minor upgrades. Most of the systems integrated into the ships are designed and built in India.

The destroyers are also equipped with an action information system and atmospheric control system. The modern stealth destroyers demonstrate superior anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities. The vessel has an overall length of 163m, a beam of 17.4m and a draft of 6.5m. The full load displacement of the ship is 6,800t.

Kolkata-class missile systems

The 16-cell universal vertical launcher module (UVLM) fitted on the ship can launch BrahMos missiles.

There are two vertical launching systems (VLS) for Barak SAM (surface-to-air missile).

BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile developed by BrahMos Aerospace, a joint venture between India-based Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russia-based NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM).

BrahMos missile has a top speed of Mach 2.5 to Mach 2.8 and a maximum range of 290km.

Naval gun systems on board the Indian destroyers

The main gun fitted forward is a 130mm gun. Four AK-630 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) are provided for close-in air defence. The AK-630 CIWS can defend the ship from incoming anti-ship missiles and other guided weapons. It has a rate of fire of 5,000 rounds a minute.

Anti-submarine warfare

The anti-submarine warfare is provided by twin-tube torpedo launchers and RBU-6000 smerch-2 ASW rocket launchers. The rockets can be launched against submarines within a range of 6km.

Sensors / radar systems on the Kolkata-class guided missile destroyers

Kolkata-class is equipped with Thales LW-08 long range volume search radar, EL/M-2248 MF-STAR multi-mission radar and EL/M-2238 L-band STAR surveillance radar from Israel Aerospace Industries.

Sonar systems include HUMSA-NG (hull-mounted sonar array – new generation) and Nagin active towed array sonar.

The Kolkata-class has a flight deck and enclosed hangar to embark up to two medium-lift helicopters, such as HAL Dhruv advanced light helicopter (ALH) and AgustaWestland Sea King helicopter.

The ship is equipped with an Elbit Systems Deseaver MK II decoy control and launching system. Deseaver can launch decoys against anti-ship missiles coming from different directions.

Kolkata-class propulsion, power and speed

The combined gas and gas (COGAG) propulsion system integrates a twin Zorya M36E gas turbine plant. Four DT-59 reversible gas turbines drive the two propellers via two RG-54 gearboxes.

The two KVM diesel motors are provided by Bergen and Garden Reach. Four Wartsila WCM-1000 generators and Kirloskar AC generators supply on board electricity. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 30k.