INS Kolkata (D63)
Stealth Guided-Missile Destroyer Warship
INS Kolkata D63 is a relatively new addition to the Indian Navy surface fleet - the vessel commissioned as recently as 2014.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The modern Indian Navy surface fleet currently (2017) fields a collection of eleven active destroyer-type vessels. Among these are the Kolkata-class, the Delhi-class and the Rajput-class and these cover the 8,160, 6,835 and 5,510 ton range, respectively. The Kolkata-class is a group of three "stealth" guided-missile destroyers whose primary armament is, appropriately enough, missile-minded. Inherent stealth features, such as slab-siding and enclosed sections of the hull superstructure, help the vessel reduce the risk of being detected.
INS Kolkata (D63) makes up the lead ship of the Kolkata-class. Her keel was laid down in September of 2003 by Mazagon Dock Limited and the ship was launched on March 30th, 2006. However, the Indian Navy did not acquire the vessel until July 10th, 2014 leading to a much-delayed commissioning ceremony held on August 16th, 2014. The warship currently makes homeport out of Mumbai, has the hull identifier of "D63" and fights under the motto of "Always Prepared for Battle". She remains in active service as of this writing (December 2017).
The destroyer displaces 7,500 tons and has a length of 535 feet, a beam (width) measurement of 57 feet and a draught down to 21 feet. The crew is made up of 250 officer and enlisted-level personnel. The powerplant consists of a COmbined Gas And Gas (COGAG) arrangement involving paired gas turbines coupled to shared gearboxes allowing for various sets to be selected for drive power, and thus improve on fuel efficiency. The warship can make headway at just over 30 knots and reach out to 8,000 nautical miles (about 9,200 miles).
INS Kolkata carries the Thales LW-08 D-band air-search radar fit as well as a BEL HUMSA-NG bow-mounted sonar and BEL Nagin active towed sonar array.
Armament is at the heart of this warship and includes both projectile-based and missile-minded weaponry (of Indian, Russian and Italian origin). 4 x 8-cell Vertical Launch Systems (VLS) are fitted for the 32 x Barak 8 missiles carried. These form a ranged anti-aircraft capability. Land attack is possible by the 2 x 8-cell UVLM fit housing up to 16 x Brahmos anti-ship/anti-surface missiles. more conventional armament is had through the 76mm OTO-Melara turreted deck gun, the 4 x AK-630 Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs) and the 4 x Mark 46 series torpedo launchers. To counter the threat posed by submarines, 2 x RBU-6000 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers are carried.
The warship exhibits a conventional design arrangement when viewed in profile. The deck line is unobstructed from bow-to-stern and there is a continuous superstructure with the primary missile bank and turreted deck gun set over the forecastle. The bridge is fitted in its usual place overlooking the bow and the enclosed pyramidal mast seats various systems and sensors about it. There is a break immediate aft of the bridge superstructure to which the first low-profile smoke funnel is located. Aft of this is the aft-mast with its specialized equipment fits and the second low-profile smoke funnel is seated aft of that structure. At the stern is a helicopter flight deck which, coupled with the attached hangar, offers the capability to launch and retrieve two medium-lift navy helicopters. These can provide the vessel with a sub-hunting / ship-hunting capability and over-the-horizon operation.