INS Satpura (F-48), along with INS Shivalik and the three existing Project 15 Delhi-class DDGs, three Project 16 Godavari-class FFGs and three Project 16A Brahmaputra-class FFGs have all been fitted with the 1000Xi long-range acoustic hailing device built by US-based LRAD Corp. In addition, INS Satpura comes equipped with the BEL-built and DRDO designed Ellora ESM/EW suite, plus the DRDO-developed and OFB-built Kavach offboard countermeasures dispensing system, which makes use of spin-stabilised ammunition (including chaff and infra-red payloads) for defence against sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles. The ammunition, customised for use by Wallop Defence Systems Ltd India, includes seduction, confusion and distraction spin-stabilised chaff rockets and infra-red decoys operating in the 3-5 micron and 8-14 micron wavebands, all configured to meet the Indian Navy’s operational requirements. For providing over-the-horizon targetting for the eight on-board Novator JSC-built 3M54E Klub-N supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles (with 220km-range), INS Satpura will have on board a Ka-31 helicopter, along with a SA.316B Alouette III (Chetak) light helicopter for search-and-rescue.
The above-mentioned warships are also being fitted with Elbit Systems-built DCoMPASS FLIR systems, for which a US$20 million procurement contract was awarded on August 17. This contract follows Elbit Systems’ award, approximately three months ago, of another $20 million contract, to supply CoMPASS FLIR systems for fitment on the Do-228 maritime patrol aircraft of both the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. ELBIT’s Micro CoMPASS FLIR systems, on the other hand, are being procured for fitment on to the Navy’s waterjet-driven fast attack craft (WJ-FAC) and the 15 fast interceptor craft now being delivered by France’s Chantiere Navale Couach, plus on the Indian Coast Guard’s seven 270-tonne extra-fast patrol vessels (XFPV) and twenty 260-tonne fast patrol vessels (FPV).—Prasun K. Sengupta