The Indian Navy recently signed multiple contracts worth approximately $2.4 billion (Rs 19,600 crore) with domestic companies to acquire eleven Next Generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (NGOPVs) and six Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs), as part of its ongoing fleet modernization plans. In addition to enhancing the navy’s combat capability, these programs will also facilitate the development of indigenous shipbuilding infrastructure to achieve a higher degree of self-reliance in defense manufacturing, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
According to GlobalData’s estimates, India is expected to spend about $35.3 billionon the procurement of frigates, corvettes, destroyers, and other naval vessels over 2023-33. The newly contracted NGOPVs are expected to replace the aging Sukanya-class patrol vessels of the Indian Navy. They are also anticipated to be an evolution of the previously built Saryu-class, which would enable the shipyards to construct the vessels within a shorter timeframe.
Meanwhile, bearing the anti-surface warfare requirements of the navy, the six NGMVs may replace the aging Khukri-Class corvettes in-service since the late 1980s. These high-speed vessels will incorporate low observable features and will comprise state-of-the-art sensors for network-centric warfare. They will also provide the Indian Navy with distributed firepower capability.
Harsh Deshmukh, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In recent years, the Indian Navy has been focusing on building a more balanced fleet that includes both larger and smaller vessels. These smaller vessels are equipped with weapons and sensors that enable them to detect and engage with the targets effectively. Smaller vessels, with faster response times, can achieve greater coverage during maritime operations and effectively act as force multipliers, providing the Navy with much-needed distributed firepower capability.”
The vessels are expected to feature a higher degree of automation, thereby decreasing the operational cost for the Navy. They can effectively take up roles such as maritime patrol, protection of offshore assets, counter infiltration etc., which were earlier carried out using major surface combatants.
Deshmukh concludes: “Overall, the procurement of modern warships by the Indian Navy is an important step towards maintaining India’s maritime security and safeguarding its strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region, by effectively countering any potential threat from its adversaries and ensuring the safety of the maritime traffic through the trade routes in the Indo-Pacific.”