All Naval ships will soon have stealth features

DRDO’s Naval wing developing stealth technologies

September 21, 2014 12:15 am | Updated November 16, 2021 05:48 pm IST - HYDERABAD:

INS Kolkata, lead ship of the Kolkata class, has stealth features. Photo: Special Arrangement

INS Kolkata, lead ship of the Kolkata class, has stealth features. Photo: Special Arrangement

All Indian naval ships will have stealth features in future and some of the designs have already been incorporated in the existing platforms, according to V. Bhujanga Rao, Director-General (Naval Systems and Materials), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

He said DRDO labs have the capability to design and develop stealth technologies for the naval vessels. While the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam was the lead facility, other labs like the Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) and the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL) were also contributing towards this end.

Dr. Rao said there was a difference in designing stealth features for a ship as opposed to that for an aircraft. While the main focus would be in reducing infra-red and radar cross section signatures for an aircraft, many other aspects have to be dealt with while making “silent ships.” Besides infra-red and radar, the signatures of acoustics, magnetic, electric and hydro-dynamic wake have to be minimised.

For miles together hydro-dynamic wake would give “tell-tale” signal that something was lurking, he added. Signature management was itself a concept which includes shaping of a ship to the lowest signature. There would be more stealth characteristics in over-the-deck portion as lot of metallic components get replaced by composites. The exhaust too would be at the minimal level.

“We have done some work on all these things. Ours is quite silent (stealth technology) and good enough to handle our enemies,” Dr. Rao said.

Under-water weapons

All future designs of the ships like corvettes, frigates and submarines would be incorporated with stealth features. He said that besides developing stealth platforms, the DRDO labs were working on under-water weapons, decoys, mines as also design of warships and submersibles. As regards underwater weapons, light weight torpedoes were already given to the Navy. Another advanced torpedo, ‘Varunastra’ would be delivered to the Navy by the year-end or early next year.

Also an advanced version of decoy named ‘Mareecha’ has already been tested in real conditions and had proved quite effective. “We are trying to hand it over to the Navy by year end,” he said. The decoys were meant to confuse enemy torpedoes.

Newly designed state-of-the-art underwater mines were under production by KELTRON. The underwater mines are used to lay minefields and obstruct the movement of enemy ships during hostilities.

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