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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DRDO-Owned & Navy-Operated MRIS Vessels Take Shape, As Does The S-3 SSBN

The first of two DRDO-owned and Indian Navy-operated Missile-Range Instrumentation Ships (MRIS) is presently undergoing outfitting alongside the 560-metre jetty of the MoD-owned Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) in Visakhapatnam. Officially dubbed as an Ocean Surveillance Ship (P-11184), its keel-laying ceremony had taken place on June 30, 2014. Sanctioned at a cost of Rs.1,500 crore, this MRIS is expected to be commissioned into naval service by the first quarter of 2018 (instead of the original deadline of December 2015). 
This vessel was designed by Vik Sandvik Design India, and it has a length of 175 metres, beamwidth of of 22 metres, a draught of 6 metres, and a total weight of 10,000 tons. An aft helicopter deck capable of housing a 12-tonne NMRH-type helicopter has also been incorporated. Crew complement will be 300, while the propulsion package will comprise twin two 9,000kW diesel engines, designed to give a maximum cruise speed of 21 Knots.
The MRIS, when operational, will host two types of tracking radars: a long-range L-band active phased-array tracking radar for monitoring the flight trajectory of ballistic missiles like ICBMs and SLBMs, and an X-band precision tracking radar, this too being an active phased-array type that will be used for tracking the in-bound flight trajectories of MIRV-type warheads. The long-range L-band active phased-array tracking radar will be a derivative of the indigenously designed and developed L-band, monopulse Multi-Object Tracking Radar (MOTR) that is now operational at ISRO’s Sriharikota-based Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR). 
The MOTR, developed at a cost of Rs.245 crores between 2012 and 2015, can track 10 different objects simultaneously with a range of nearly 1,000km. While objects measuring up to 30cm by 30cm can be tracked at a distance of 800km, in case of objects measuring 50cm by 50cm size, the radar can track at a slant range of 1,000km. The active phased-array antenna contains 4,608 radiating elements, and the entire radar weighs 35 tonnes, is 12-metre-long and 8 metres-tallAstra Microwave Products Ltd supplied the T/R Modules and DC-DC converters.
The second MRIS is being built at a cost of Rs.425 crores by the Kochi-based Cochin Shipyard Ltd and is expected to be delivered by late 2019. Contract for this vessel was inked in early August 2015. Once ready, this 130-metre-long MRIS will be equipped with a smaller version of the MOTR, known as the M-MOTR, as well as X-band active phased-array precision-tracking radar. This MRIS will be used for monitoring the flight trajectories of long-range subsonic and supersonic land-attack cruise missiles, especially during their terminal phases of flight.  
The two MRIS vessels will perform roles similar to those of the USNS Howard O Lorenzen (T-AGM-25), which features dual-band X- and S-band active phased-array radars, a common radar suite controller, and other ancillary equipment. The X-band radar is used for collecting data from several objects from different targets, while the S-band radar is used for collecting data from specific objects of importance. Raytheon provided the X-band radar and the common radar suite controller, while the S-band radar was provided by Northrop Grumman.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy is gearing up for the launch of its second homegrown SSBN, the S-3, at the Vizag-based and Navy-owned Shipbuilding Centre (SBC), which has been leased to Larsen & Toubro for fabricating these SSBNs there. The Navy has already procured an Anti-Diver Net that will be deployed around the S-3 after its launch (before the year-end) so that it can be safely berthed alongside the SBC when undergoing final fitting-out and the subsequent harbour-trials.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Recent PLAN Movements In IOR & The China-India Border Standoff

The 26th PLA Escort Naval Fleet, comprising Type 054A FFGs Huanggang 577 and Yangzhou 578 and the fleet tanker Gaoyouhu 966 from the PLAN’s East China Sea Fleet departed from Zhoushan City of east China’s Zhejiang Province on April 1, 2017 and arrived at its mission area in the Gulf of Aden after successively passing through the Miyako Strait, the Makassar Strait, the Sunda Strait and the Indian Ocean.
This Fleet also contained a double-hulled Type S-20 Yuan-class SSK along with a Type 925 Chongmingdao 302 submarine support vessel, and that is why the Fleet avoided entering the Malacca Straits, which requires all submarines to surface while cruising through this Strait. Both this vessel and the SSK later did an operational turnaround in Karachi in late May 2017. 
By the third week of June 2017 there was an increase in activity by PLAN vessels in the Indian Ocean. A Type 813 auxiliary general intelligence (AGI) ship, Haiwingxing 852 (Neptune), of the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet, was spotted entering the Indian Ocean via the Sunda Strait, and this vessel will monitor the forthcoming week-long India-US-Japan Malabar naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal from July 10.
The Type 813 AGI ship displaces about 4,000 tons and is used for SIGINT/ELINT data pertaining to the performance of radars and their IFF transponders, telemetry, navigation systems and acting jamming systems. There are two domes on the vessel’s superstructure that house high-sensitivity passive sensors for recording distant enemy radar emissions.
The PLAN presently operates six AGI vessels. The Beijixing 851 (Polaris) servfes with the East Sea Fleet, the Haiwangxing 852 (Neptune) with the South Sea Fleet, the Tianwangxing 853 (Uranus) with the East Sea Fleet, the Tianlangxing 854 (Sirius) with the North Sea Fleet, the 855 AGI vessel with the South Sea Fleet, and the Kaiyangxing 856 (Mizar) with the North Sea Fleet. 
The seventh such vessel is now being fitted-out at the Shanghai-based, CSSC-owned Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard.
The China-India Standoff Explained  
With Maps

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Shanghai-Based CSSC's Jiangnan Shipyard Launches First 10,000-Ton Type 055 DDG

The Type 055 DDG was preceded by the Type 052B DDGs, Type 052C DDGs and the Type 052D DDGs.

Type 052B DDG
Type 052C DDG
Type 052D DDG
Now, compare ther above evolutionary designs with the evolution of India’s Project 15 DDG family, comprising the Project 15, Project 15A and Project 15B hull designs.