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India launches two ASW Shallow Water Craft Agray & Akshay.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Indian MoD on March 13, 2024, the Navy saw the addition of two new vessels to its fleet with the launch of 'Agray' and 'Akshay', the 5th and 6th ships under the 08 x ASW Shallow Water Craft (SWC) Project, at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Craft. (Picture source: Indian Navy)

The contract for the eight ASW SWC ships was signed with GRSE on April 29, 2019, indicating a move to replace the older Abhay-class ASW Corvettes. These Arnala-class ships are designed for anti-submarine warfare, low intensity maritime operations, and mine-laying activities.

Over the past year, three indigenously built warships/submarines were delivered to the Indian Navy, and nine warships were launched, including 'Agray' and 'Akshay'. The project aligns with the broader objective of enhancing indigenous defense production capabilities, with these ships containing over 80% indigenous content.

The initiative aims to support domestic defense manufacturing and employment while improving national defense capabilities. The first ship from this project is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2024.

Technical data

The ASW Shallow Water Craft (SWC) has a displacement of 900 tons. It features a length of 77.6 meters (255 feet), a beam of 10.5 meters (34 feet), and a draught of 2.7 meters (8.9 feet), making it well-suited for operations in shallow waters.

The craft is powered by water-jet propulsion, enabling it to reach speeds of up to 25 knots (46 km/h) and maintain a range of 1,800 nautical miles (3,300 km) at an operational speed of 14 knots (26 km/h). It can accommodate a complement of 57 personnel, including 7 officers and 50 sailors.

The SWC is equipped with a comprehensive suite of sensors and processing systems for advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. Its combat suite presumably includes the DRDO-developed IAC MOD 'C' combat suite, enhanced by a hull-mounted sonar (HMS) and a low-frequency variable depth sonar (LFVDS) for detecting underwater threats.

The craft's management systems are robust, featuring a fire control system (FCS), an integrated platform management system (IPMS), an automatic power management system (APMS), and a battle damage control system (BDCS).

For armaments, the SWC boasts an array of weapons designed for ASW, including a RBU-6000 anti-submarine rocket launcher and six lightweight ASW torpedoes, presumably the Advanced Light Weight Torpedo (ALWT).

It is also equipped to launch anti-submarine mines from mine-laying rails. The craft's firepower is complemented by a CRN-91 30mm naval gun and two OFT 12.7 mm M2 stabilized remote-controlled guns.

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