If in an Indian film a gun hangs on the wall, it will certainly sing or dance in the final scene.
Comparison of the Indian naval forces with the Bollywood film studios is not accidental - after all, like any Indian cinema, the Indian Navy is a real trash. But at the same time, trash of the highest level! Bright appearance and loud slogans, bold tactical decisions and colorful samples of naval weapons - the people who had a hand in the creation of the Indian Navy were real professionals in their field. However, it ended up being trash …
Everything! No more mockery of Indian sailors.
The modern Indian Navy is making the most of the funds allocated for their development. A motley mixture of technologies from all over the world - Russian and Israeli weapons are successfully combined with radio electronics of our own design. At the same time, resourceful Indians do not hesitate to operate American Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft, and they prefer to order promising non-submarine submarines in Europe (Franco-Spanish project Scorpen). The half-century British aircraft carrier Viraat is still on the move. The leasing Russian K-152 Nerpa is on a par with the first Indian Arihant atomic plant. The outdated British Linder-class frigates are incomprehensibly in harmony with the large Soviet-built Project 61-ME anti-submarine ships. And the legendary Varshavyanka submarines - with German diesel-electric boats Type 209.
Despite all the comicality of the combined hodgepodge of technology of all times and peoples, acquaintance with the Indian fleet leaves behind a quite distinct impression:
1. The Indian Navy is evolving! Whether it will ever be able to match the power of the US Navy or the Chinese Navy is unknown. But the trend is evident.
2. Despite the seemingly absurd ship composition, the Indian Navy has absorbed the most promising concepts of modern naval combat - carrier-based aircraft, long-range anti-ship missiles, nuclear submarines, diesel-electric submarines and nuclear submarines, frigates and destroyers of various sizes and purposes. One can criticize the Indians for the lack of a clear program for the development of the Navy, but one cannot but recognize the merits of the leadership of the Indian fleet in improving the country's defense capability. Hindus almost always choose the best (at least from the suggestion).
Behind the back - half a century of naval victories. Battle of the Bengal minesweeper with two Japanese auxiliary cruisers (1942). The defeat of the Portuguese squadron during the landing operation in Goa (1961). Two Indo-Pakistani wars: the sinking of the Gazi submarine, successful Indian missile boat raids on Karachi. Preventing a military coup in the Maldives and successfully intercepting a mercenary hijacked cargo ship. Every time the Indians have shown themselves to be excellent sailors.
Ahead is the unceasing growth and ambitions of a regional leader striving to take the lead in the world.
What is the modern Indian navy? Do its capabilities match the challenges it faces?
Indian Navy "sacred cow"
For an accurate description of the Indian Navy, one word is enough: "BrahMos". Everything else pales before this devil.
The Russian-Indian development is a medium-range supersonic anti-ship missile, currently the most advanced in the world. The BrahMos flight speed at extremely low altitude (sea-skimming mode) is capable of reaching two speeds of sound - even the American Aegis is hardly capable of repelling such an attack!
Brahmaputra - Moscow. The missile was developed on the basis of the P-800 Onyx anti-ship missile system. Warhead weight - 300 kg. The maximum launch range is up to 290 km with an altitude flight profile.
Despite successful attempts to intercept the "BrahMos" simulator target (American flying drone GQM-163 Coyote) using the PAAMS naval air defense system in ideal polygon conditions using external target designation, we can confidently state that at the moment there are no reliable means and methods intercepting an Indian super-rocket. A flock of "BrahMos", rushing at a height of 5-10 meters, is capable of penetrating any anti-missile shield and destroying any enemy squadron.
The high flight speed is just the beginning of the scary tale of the Indian rocket. The creators of "BrahMos" prepared another unpleasant surprise for the enemy - modern technologies made it possible to achieve acceptable weight and size characteristics and reduce the launch mass of anti-ship missiles to 3 tons (lightweight aircraft version - 2.5 tons). Just an excellent result for a supersonic missile, especially compared to its predecessors, such as the P-270 Mosquito (4 … 4, 5 tons).
A radical reduction in the launch weight and dimensions of the rocket made it possible to significantly increase the range of possible BrahMos carriers - anti-ship missiles can be used both from ground-based launchers and from destroyer or frigate-class warships.
The options for equipping combat aircraft with BraMos missiles have been worked out: the Su-30MKI multipurpose fighter - up to 3 missiles (in reality, it will be great if it lifts at least one), the Il-76 multipurpose transport aircraft - up to 6 external rockets (cheap and cheerful), anti-submarine aircraft of the Indian Navy: Il-38 (up to 4 missiles under the fuselage), Tu-142 (up to 6 missiles on wing pylons). The first tests are scheduled for 2014.
Model anti-ship missiles "Bramos" under the fuselage of the Su-30MKI
In September 2013, the Indian company Brahmos Aerospace made a statement that the submarine version of BrahMos was ready to be installed on submarines of the Indian Navy. Due to the large diameter of the body (700 mm), the missile does not fit into a standard torpedo tube - the way out may be the installation of additional missile silos (as on the Los Angeles submarine).
Indian sailors get their hands on a truly universal weapon for naval combat: extremely fast, powerful, but most importantly - massive and ubiquitous. A strike force of submarines or a squadron of Su-30MKI equipped with BrahMos missiles are capable of grinding into powder any AUG of a potential enemy.
Adopting the BrahMos super-missile automatically takes the Indian Navy to a new level. One of the few fleets ready for real naval warfare.
Meanwhile, the Indians are not going to stop there: there are already reports of the start of development of a special aviation modification "Brahmos-M" (mini) weighing 1.5 tons, as well as an absolute "wunderwaffe" - "BrahMos-2" with a flight speed exceeding the speed of sound is five or more times (so far this is just a dream).
If we leave the story with the super-rocket, then the rest of the Indian fleet appears as a bunch of rusty junk, as well as equipment purchased abroad with deliberately limited characteristics (export modifications). As an option - own crafts, more reminiscent of replicas of warships, as a rule, with foreign "stuffing".
Sometimes among the trash you come across very worthy examples, but there are too few of them to completely change the situation for the better.
The whole story with Indian aircraft carriers is reminiscent of an anecdote: theoretically, the Indians have three aircraft carriers. Practically - the Vikramaditya, which has not yet been transferred by the Russian side (an impromptu on the basis of the aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov of the 1982 model) and the Vikrant under construction, which is inferior in size even to the not too large Vikramaditya.
Both ships will not reach operational readiness soon. The only aircraft carrier in service is the ancient Viraat, aka the former British Hermes, launched in 1953.
All this is nothing more than a profanation of military service, the Indians indulge their own pride and play in a real fleet "like the Americans." The real strength of the Indian Navy lies in a completely different plane.
The pearl of the underwater component of the Indian Navy is the leased Russian nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa, which temporarily changed its name to Chakra. One can only congratulate the Indians on their excellent choice and sympathize with the Russian sailors for having lost such a nuclear-powered ship for 10 years.
The Indians got the most powerful ship - the Project 971 Schuka-B multipurpose underwater killer. One of the most formidable and sophisticated third generation multipurpose submarines.
Masha is good, but not yours. Plus, she's just one. The Indians do not have their own submarines of this level, and are not expected in the near future. It is noteworthy that another Russian submarine K-43 - Project 670 Skat SSGN, transferred to the Indian Navy on lease terms from 1988 to 1992 - had a similar name - "Chakra".
The first Indian submarine of its own design should go into operation as early as next year - currently "Arihant" is undergoing comprehensive tests and verification for radiation safety. The fierce desire of Indian sailors to enroll in the elite club of nuclear-powered ship owners is overshadowed by the only circumstance: Arihant is a deliberately outdated project against the background of modern Virginias, Sea Wolves or Russian Pikes.
The composition of the weapons is issued by Indians with a head - 12 ballistic missiles K-15 Sagarika with a launch range of as much as 1900 km in a lightweight version (for comparison, the Russian SLBM R-29RMU2 "Sineva" has a launch range of 11,500 km). Why would the Indian Navy need a dozen short / medium-range ballistic missiles? Too weak for solving strategic tasks, while completely ineffective in local wars. The answer is obvious - the technical lagging behind the Indian military-industrial complex. It is much easier to create a "blank" K-15 than high-precision SLCM "Tomahawk" or "Caliber".
As for non-nuclear submarines, here the Indians look very decent: 4 German diesel-electric submarines Type 209/1500 and ten "Varshavyanka" Soviet and Russian construction (one of them - "Sindurakshak" sank during an explosion in the port of Mumbai, 2013-14-08.). According to the terms of the agreement, the Indians have no right to repair Varshavyankas anywhere other than Russia; Diesel submarines are regularly overhauled and modernized at Russian shipbuilding enterprises. During the modernization, some of the boats were equipped with sets of Indian electronic equipment and cruise missiles of the Club complex (an export version of the Caliber with a limited firing range).
In the next 5-10 years, the Indian fleet should be replenished with six more Franco-Spanish submarines of the "Scorpen" type, equipped with an air-independent power plant similar to the Stirling engine. Such ships are close in their capabilities to nuclear-powered ships, they are capable of continuously being submerged for 2-3 weeks. At the same time, they are head and shoulders above any submarine in terms of "stealth" (small size, the absence of roaring turbines and pumps of the reactor cooling circuits).
On May 16, 2013, the first anti-submarine aircraft P-8I Poseidon arrived at the Rajali naval base - the Indians chose the American aircraft as a replacement for the Il-38 and Tu-142, delivered during the Soviet era.
Boeing P-8I Poseidon at the Rajali naval base
Long-range anti-submarine aircraft Il-38 of the Indian Navy
Poseidon is a special version of the Boeing 737 civilian liner, equipped with the most modern equipment for conducting naval reconnaissance and detecting enemy submarines. In total, the Indian Navy plans to purchase 12 of these machines.
The Russian MiG-29K was chosen as the main carrier-based aircraft to replace the British Sea Harrier.
Among the rotary-wing aircraft, helicopters of the Westland Sea King model (American "Sikorsky" SH-3 assembled under license in Great Britain) prevail. A number of Soviet vehicles from the Kamov Design Bureau are used - the Ka-25 and Ka-28 anti-submarine aircraft, the Ka-31 AWACS helicopters, as well as the French-made Aerospatial Aluette III helicopters.
A scrupulous enumeration of monotonous designs can cause boredom even among the most devoted lover of the sea. Indian naval surface warships are not distinguished by impressive abilities: despite eight projects of ships in the ocean zone, the Indians have not yet appeared anything like the British destroyer Daring or the Japanese destroyer URO of the Congo type.
Delhi, Shivalik, Talvar, Godavari …
Two dozen quite ordinary destroyers and frigates, mostly with Russian weapons and detection systems. SAM "Shtil", RBU-6000, batteries AK-630, anti-ship missiles P-20 (export version P-15 "Termit") and X-35 "Uranus" … Everything is quite simple and not always effective, however, with side creates the appearance of a powerful and numerous fleet.
Destroyer Mysore, one of three ships of the Delhi class. The largest of the destroyers of their own construction, the flagships of the Indian Navy. Full displacement - 6200 tons. The crew is 350 people.
Power plant of the CODOG type - two diesel engines and two afterburner gas turbine engines, with a total power of 54,000 hp. Full speed - 28 knots. Cruising range - 5000 miles at 18 knots.
- 16 anti-ship missiles X-35 "Uranus";
- 2 SAM "Shtil";
- 1 air defense system of Israeli production "Barak-1";
- universal artillery of 100 mm caliber, self-defense systems AK-630, RBU and torpedoes.
- 2 British Sea King anti-submarine helicopters.
Among the more or less modern ships, there are real "dinosaurs" - for example, five Soviet BODs pr. 61-ME - despite its swift silhouette and updated design, this is just a variation on the theme of the Soviet "singing frigate" of the 1959 model (called "singing »For the characteristic hum of gas turbines). What are the M-1 Volna anti-aircraft systems alone - a real rarity for the naval museum!
The frigates like "Godavari" or "Nilgiri" look no better - improvisations based on the British frigate "Linder" of the early 1960s.
Destroyer D55 "Ranvijay" project 61-ME
Among Indian surface ships of particular interest are the Talwar frigates, a series of six ships built in Russia between 1999 and 2013. Excellent ships in every sense. Perhaps the best frigates in the world in terms of cost / efficiency ratio.
On the technical side, Talvar is a deeply modernized patrol boat of Project 1135 Burevestnik: the latest combat systems in the hull using stealth technology have completely changed the appearance and purpose of the ship. A universal firing system for 8 cruise missiles "Club" or anti-ship missiles "BrahMos", anti-aircraft systems "Shtil" and "Kortik", a helicopter hangar - the time-tested "Burevesnik" received a second life.
The frigate turned out to be so good that the Russian Ministry of Defense ordered a series of four of the same ships for the Black Sea Fleet (project 11356).
In the future, the Indian Navy should be replenished with three more Kolkata-class destroyers - the newest Indian destroyers will be equipped with 16 BrahMos anti-ship missiles, as well as a vertical launch on 16 cells - up to 64 Barak-1 and Barak-8 anti-aircraft missiles made in Israel.
All three ships have already been launched, and the lead Kolkata is expected to enter service next year. However, it is reported that at the stage of construction, the Indians faced a huge number of difficulties - the entry into service of the ship was delayed by at least 4 years. The final cost of the destroyer increased by 225% compared to the initial estimate - as a result, the construction of the Kolkata cost the Indian budget $ 1.8 billion. The much larger and more sophisticated Orly Burke costs about the same.
Also, in addition to the large warships of the ocean zone, the Indian Navy has a developed fleet of corvettes, missile boats and ships to control coastal zones; a dozen amphibious ships, minesweepers, and an auxiliary detachment of naval tankers, military transports, training ships and oceanographic vessels. The Indian fleet becomes like a multi-armed Vishnu, gaining versatility and the ability to operate far from relatives
Recently, another strategic project is being implemented - a naval base in Madagascar. The Indian Navy is preparing to defend its national interests in every corner of the Indian Ocean.
Indian sailors remain faithful to the precepts of the Kshatriya warrior caste: they are obliged to protect anyone who asks for their help; they are forgiven for anger and violence, as it is their nature and necessary for them to fulfill their duty.
Indian Navy in international exercises: Tanker INS Jyoti and destroyer INS Mysore, accompanied by destroyers of the Japanese Navy and the US Navy.