August 30, 2014:
With clear lessons from the commissioning of INS Kolkata and INS Kamorta without their integral anti-submarine warfare suites, the MoD on Friday cleared a Rs 1,770 crore deal for active towed array sonars and torpedo decoy systems for four P15 Bravo stealth destroyers (improved Kolkata-class) and sevel P17 Alpha stealth frigates (improved Shivalik-class). The government has come under criticism from certain quarters, including the veterans community, for allowing the induction of the frontline combatants without their primary sensors, most apparent on the INS Kamorta, which was built specifically for anti-submarine warfare. The Indian Navy has put up a brave face, with assurances from the MoD leadership that any and all slippages will be made up for for the next few ships in their respective classes, as well as the future destroyers and frigates. Top sources say P15 Brave and P17 Alpha ships will also be part of India's export catalogue over the next few decades, so the navy and Indian shipyards want as little adverse publicity as possible. Countries like Vietnam and Malaysia have shown how impressed they are with the P15A and P17 ships.