Indian Navy to Procure New Platforms

By admin • October 26th, 2010

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India Defence Online, New Delhi – With the Indian Ocean region becoming very vulnerable to terror threats, the Indian Navy has decided to beef up its security along the Indian shores and has decided to go in for additional surveillance planes as well as spy drones.

The Indian Defence Ministry has floated a global Request for Information (RFI) for the medium range maritime reconnaissance aircraft (MRMR) with an operating range of over 350 nautical miles, and HALE (high-altitude, long-endurance) unmanned aerial vehicles or spy drones, with a service ceiling above 40,000 feet and endurance over 25 hours.

According to the Indian Navy, the acquisition of MRMR planes and spy drones can only compliment the surveillance on the Indian shores. The MRMR planes will be equipped with radars as well as anti-ship and submarine warfare capabilities. The Indian Navy has already finalised the acquisition of 12 P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft from Boeing at $3.1 billion. The first P-8I is slated for induction in early-2013.

Besides providing various crucial equipment and crafts to the Indian Navy, the Indian government has also been giving attention to the Coast Guard. The Indian government has approved 42 new aircraft for the Coast Guard, which is also holding trials for six MRMR aircraft with Beriev-200 and Bombardier-Q400 being the contenders in the $300 million project.

Apart from these acquisitions, one of the most ambitious project will be India`s first dedicated military satellite to be launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This communication and surveillance satellite will have around 1,000 nautical mile footprints over the Indian Ocean region and will ensure the C4ISR capabilities of the Indian Navy. The satellite will detect maritime threats in real-time by networking all its warships, submarines and aircraft among themselves as well as with operational centres ashore through high-speed data links.

Also, there have been warship orders and other maritime projects that are aimed at strengthening the Indian Navy’s force levels and having a stronger strategic grasp along its coastline as well as the Indian Ocean region. In august this year, the Defence Ministry approved the prestigious programme to indigenously construct four guided-missile stealth destroyers. The indigenous programme for the stealth destroyers is part of the Project-15B and the programme will cost to the tune of Rs.30,000 crores and will be undertaken at the state-run Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL). The nod from the Indian Defence Ministry for these four guided-missile stealth destroyers comes at a time when a $10 billion project for a second line of six submarines has also recently been given approval. The Indian government has also approved the $9 billion construction of seven more stealth frigates at MDL in Mumbai and Garden Reach Shipbuilder and Engineers (GRSE) in Kolkata.

Source: India Defence Online

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