India plans 6 missile warships to challenge Chinese Navy


A young Indian Army lieutenant punched a Chinese PLA major on his nose and sent blood oozing from his nose. The incident happened at Muguthang which is in the Indian state of Sikkim. The Indian officer's infantry unit had stopped the intruding Chinese PLA and were furious at the Chinese commissar for shouting, "This (Sikkim) isn't your land, this is often not Indian territory... so just return .” mentioned during a military family – his grandfather a veteran of the Royal then Indian Air Force and his father a colonel in the Indian Army – the officer threw a solid punch. The Chinese major collapsed with a thud and his tag came loose. This nearly provoked an escalation. 

The Indian ship Rajput class destroyer INS Rana (D 52) leads the ...
This comes at a time when India is chalking out a strategy to shore up its sire power as it faces an ever-growing Chinese Navy. One of the important parts of the strategy is 6 missile warships which will be manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ program. 

In this article, Defence Talks analyzes how India is planning to counter the Chinese Navy with next-generation missile vessels? Let’s get started. 


The next-generation missile vessel or NGMV will be deployed for Anti Surface Warfare as well as can be used for Land Attack missions. These warships will have reduced the Radar Cross Section. so it'll be hard to be detected by enemy ships. Also, these will have lower acoustic signatures to make the ship hard to identify by sonars. These will be achieved by having a stealthy hull design as well as the use of special materials. 

The Indian Navy wants a vessel capable of a maximum speed of no less than 35 knots and able to remain at sea for up to 10 days. The NGMV will carry surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles. The vessel will have a range of 2,800 nautical miles or 5185 km. NGMV is expected to have a displacement of about 2,000 tons. These ships will be able to accommodate some 100 personals including 11 officers. The missile warships will be armed with several weapons like a full-fledged SAM system with point defense capabilities but the most important aspect is the presence of 8 Vertical Launch System (VLS) Tubes. 

These tubes will be used to deploy Brahmos & Nirbhay cruise missiles. Let us check them one by one. 
Brahmos is developed jointly by India's Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya. It is powered by a Ramjet engine. Brahmos is currently considered to be one of the most deadly cruise missiles. BrahMos present a challenge to any surface ship. 
The reason is its unique features. 

  1. It has a supersonic speed of Mach 3 or 1 km per second providing very little time to intercept. 
  2.  BrahMos uses a 300 kg or 660 lbs Semi-Armor piercing warhead and also has very high Kinetic energy since Kinetic energy is directly proportional to the square of velocity. BrahMos actually has about 9 times the Kinetic Energy of conventional subsonic missiles like Tomahawk. The combined destructive force of massive warhead and kinetic energy is lethal for even the biggest surface warships & bunkers. Brahmas has been known to break ships in half in several tests. 
  3.  It can perform S maneuvers in the final stages of flight. The missile basically doesn’t move in a straight line, making it very hard to intercept. 
  4.  There are lots of redundancies in the guidance system - right from the INS, GPS, GLONASS, and GAGAN making it hard to jam. 
  5.  The accuracy of around 1 square meter makes it apt for a precision strike on high-value targets. India was earlier not part of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Hence, Russia could not help or jointly develop a missile with a none MTCR nation like India, whose range is more than 300 km or about 186 miles. But India has entered MTCR in 2016 and the latest MK4 variant will be having a range of 800 km or about 500 miles. 


Nirbhay meaning 'Fearless' is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile designed and developed in India by Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The missile is often launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads. It is currently under development and undergoing flight trials. Nirbhay is powered by a solid rocket booster for take-off and upon reaching the specified velocity and height, a turbojet within the missile takes over for further propulsion. 

The missile is guided by an inertial navigation system and a radio altimeter for the height determination. The missile features a Ring Laser Gyroscope (RLG) based guidance, control, and navigation system. It also has a Microelectromechanical system (MEMS) based Inertial Navigation System (INS) along with the GPS/NAVIC system. 

The missile has a length of 6 m, the width of 0.52 m, a wingspan of 2.7 m and weighs about 1500 kg or about 3307 lbs. It has a range of about 1000 km or about 620 miles and is capable of delivering 24 different types of warheads up to 300 kg or 661 lbs The missile is claimed to have sea-skimming and loitering capability, i.e., it can go round a target and perform several maneuvers and then re-engage it. It is also ready to detect a target and attack it among multiple targets. With two side wings, the missile is capable of flying at different altitudes starting from 100 m to 4 km above the bottom and may also fly at low altitudes (like low tree level) to avoid detection by enemy radar. 


China has been one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world for the last two decades. Its economic strength has enabled it to pour in a large number of resources in both men & material in its military. The Chinese military has made huge strides in hardware both in terms of quality & quantity. Chinese Navy has got a fair share of upgrades and has been moving from being a brown water navy to a blue water navy. The surface fleet of the People’s Liberation Army Navy is transforming and is now having a sophisticated array of surface combatants. One of the most prominent examples is the Type 055 destroyer. Type 055 warships have an overall length of 590 feet (180 m) and have a displacement of about 13,000 tons when fully loaded. 

A fast-moving, stealthy, and well-equipped boat can be utilized as a part of the asymmetric strategy, and India has experience in using them. Readers may note that in 1971 Indo Pak war, the Indian Navy had burned down Pakistan’s Karachi harbor with Russian missile warships. The presence of Brahmos & Nirbhay will make sure that NGMV will be able to punch much above its weight. NGMV is part of a larger undertaking which also included India & US joining hands. 

The Indian and U.S. navies completed a naval drill last year that focused on Anti Submarine Warfare aside from information sharing, and coordination between maritime patrol aircraft and surface combatants. The exercise was persisted on April 15 near Diego Garcia within the Indian Ocean. The exercise involved a number of the foremost advanced Anti Submarine Warfare platform within the world - the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from both navies & Arleigh burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Spruance (DDG 111) from U.S navy. It remains to be seen how things pan out in the coming days.

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