Weapon Sys­tems & Sen­sors for Mod­ern War­ships

Enough is not be­ing done by the de­fence es­tab­lish­ment to get the pri­vate sec­tor in­dus­try on board in our ac­qui­si­tion and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes. Marginal­is­ing a vi­tal arm and a na­tional as­set like the pri­vate sec­tor in­dus­try is a se­ri­ous omis­sion, en­tirel

SP's NavalForces - - TECHNOLOGY - Rear Ad­mi­ral (Retd) Arun Sax­ena

Mod­ern wars hips are di­vided into sev­eral cat­e­gories and are clas­si­fied ac­cord­ing to their role and ca­pa­bil­ity. The de­stroyer is gen­er­ally re­garded as the dom­i­nant sur­face­com­bat ves­sel of most mod­ern blue wa­ter navies. How­ever, the once dis­tinct roles and ap­pear­ances of cruis­ers, de­stroy­ers, frigates and corvettes have blurred as mod­ern war­ships, and are armed with a mix of an­ti­sur­face, anti-sub­ma­rine and anti-air­craft weapons. Class des­ig­na­tions no longer in­di­cate a dis­place­ment hi­er­ar­chy and the size of all ves­sel types have grown be­yond the def­i­ni­tions used in the 20th cen­tury. The evolv­ing tech­nolo­gies and need for so­phis­ti­ca­tion in fu­ture naval com­bat­ants de­mand sev­eral new de­sign fea­tures giv­ing the ship en­hanced op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties in terms of hull de­sign, stealth, propul­sion, power sys­tems and a suite of sen­sor, weapon and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems to match the role and ca­pa­bil­ity re­quire­ments.

The op­er­a­tional bat­tle space en­vi­ron­ment is dense and com­plex. Data from the sen­sors and sys­tems are trans­mit­ted in real time to the com­mand cen­tre and it in­te­grates this data and the in­for­ma­tion from ex­ter­nal sources in­clud­ing data links, un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs) and air­borne warn­ing and con­trol sys­tem. A com­puter-aided ac­tion in­for­ma­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion (CAIO) sys­tem com­piles, main­tains and dis­plays the tac­ti­cal sit­u­a­tion and pro­vides real time bat­tle­field aware­ness. The com­bat man­age­ment sys­tem ( CMS) pro­vides the de­ci­sion sup­port func­tions to take or sug­gest the best de­ci­sion in real time for des­ig­nat­ing the op­ti­mum weapon sys­tem for the threat de­tected.

The fu­ture ship build­ing pro­gramme of the In­dian Navy will have an in­creas­ing thrust on in­dige­nous de­sign, con­struc­tion, equip­ment and sys­tems. Evolv­ing tech­nolo­gies and need for mul­ti­plic­ity of roles of fu­ture war­ships call for adopt­ing bold new strate­gies in de­sign and con­struc­tion. Stealth tech­nolo­gies and spe­cial hull de­sign will give the mod­ern war­ship a re­duced radar cross sec­tion as well as elec­tro­mag­netic, acous­tic and in­frared sig­na­tures. Ad­vanced propul­sion and power man­age­ment sys­tems will pro­vide the speed, reach and ca­pa­bil­ity to op­er­ate the sen­sors, weapons and other equip­ment, plant and ma­chin­ery on board.

The Mod­ern War­ship

The mod­ern war­ship should have a mul­ti­role, multi-mis­sion ca­pa­bil­ity. This ship should be ca­pa­ble of oper­at­ing in a mul­ti­threat, multi-di­men­sional sce­nario, in­clud­ing space and in­for­ma­tion war­fare. It should be ca­pa­ble of a wide range of sur­face war­fare, anti-air­craft/mis­sile de­fence, anti-sur­face war­fare, elec­tronic war­fare, in­for­ma­tion war­fare mis­sions by us­ing weapons and sen­sors in a net-en­abled en­vi­ron­ment in blue wa­ters and lit­torals sce­nar­ios. It should have multi-source data fu­sion and sys­tem in­te­gra­tion for tar­get de­tec­tion, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, track­ing, threat eval­u­a­tion, weapon des­ig­na­tion, fire con­trol so­lu­tions and weapon sys­tems.

The Sen­sor Suite

The sen­sors on board should be ca­pa­ble of de­tect­ing air­borne threats, sur­face tar­gets, low fly­ing (sea skim­ming) mis­siles and sub­marines. They should be ca­pa­ble of de­tect­ing elec­tro­mag­netic and in­frared sig­nals. Elec­tro-op­tic sen­sors would also be used in close-in sit­u­a­tions.

••Gun­nery Sen­sors: Ac­tive elec­tron­i­cally scanned ar­ray 3D multi-func­tion radars for anti-sur­face war­fare/an­ti­air­craft de­fence/anti-mis­sile de­fence sys­tems for de­tec­tion, track­ing and weapon di­rect­ing and con­trol for en­gage­ment from close-in to long ranges. Also, radars for nav­i­ga­tion and coastal sur­veil­lance and ca­pa­bil­ity for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of friend or foe (IFF).

••Anti- sub­ma­rine War­fare (ASW) Sen­sors: Ac­tive sonar with the wet end cov­er­ing com­plete sonar fre­quency band and ad­vanced sig­nal pro­cess­ing for de­tec­tion, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and clas­si­fi­ca­tion of tar­gets. Pas­sive sonar would be ca­pa­ble of long-range de­tec­tion. The sonar would be ca­pa­ble of mixed mode op­er­a­tion for sub­ma­rine/torpedo de­tec­tion modes. Mine hunt­ing sonar and towed ar­ray ac­tive/pas­sive sonar and torpedo de­coy sys­tems will pro­vide ad­di­tional ca­pa­bil­ity for un­der­wa­ter war­fare. The he­li­copter car­ried on board will carry dip­ping sonar to add to the un­der­wa­ter de­tec­tion ca­pa­bil­ity.

•• Elec­tronic Sur­veil­lance Mea­sures: Wide band, com­pre­hen­sive elec­tronic war­fare/di­rec­tion finder suite with in­terand in­tra-pulse emit­ter fin­ger print­ing ca­pa­bil­ity. Ac­tive and pas­sive elec­tronic coun­ter­mea­sures us­ing non-ro­tat­ing emit­ters would be in­stalled to neu­tralise the EW threat. In­fra-red sur­veil­lance sys­tems, ther­mal im­agers, sta­bilised elec­tro-op­tronic sys­tem would add ad­di­tional ca­pa­bil­ity to the sen­sor suite.

•• Nav­i­ga­tion Sys­tem: Nav­i­ga­tion radar with au­to­matic radar plot­ting aid, elec­tronic nav­i­ga­tion charts and elec­tronic chart dis­play sys­tem, ring laser gyro, global po­si­tion­ing sys­tem ( GPS), in­er­tial nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem, au­to­matic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, log, echo sounder, and anemome­ter pro­vide not only for nav­i­gat­ing the ship but also data to the sen­sors and weapons sys­tems.

We need to di­rect our ef­forts in core tech­nolo­gies where in­dige­nous sub­sti­tutes are not avail­able at present and mit­i­gate the risk of tech­nol­ogy de­nial

•• Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tem: The com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem com­prises of a com­pre­hen­sive suite for se­cure multi-chan­nel, multi-mode (voice, data, mul­ti­me­dia), sur­face and space com­mu­ni­ca­tion, soft­ware ra­dio, con­trol and ex­ploita­tion of medium/high­alti­tude long en­durance (M/HALE) UAVs, global maritime dis­tress safety sys­tem; all ex­ploited via in­te­grated masts. The in­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions suite con­sists of in­ter­coms, broad­casts and tele­phones.

•• CAIO and CMS: The CAIO en­ables seam­less data trans­fer to and from sen­sors, weapons, and nav­i­ga­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems; pro­vides in­for­ma­tion fu­sion with in-built high grade se­cu­rity and de­ci­sion sup­port aids; and presents var­i­ous tac­ti­cal pic­tures to the com­mand and com­bat team. The CMS has de­ci­sion sup­port fea­tures for threat eval­u­a­tion, tar­get in­di­ca­tion and weapon des­ig­na­tion which are fully in­te­grated with fire con­trol and weapon sys­tems on­board.

Weapon Sys­tems

The weapon sys­tems on board should be ca­pa­ble of en­gag­ing air­borne tar­gets, sur­face tar­gets, low fly­ing (sea skim­ming) mis­siles and sub­marines at medium-to lon­granges. They should be ca­pa­ble of en­gag­ing close-in threats and pro­vide point de­fence.

••Gun­nery Weapons: The gun­nery weapons would be an ap­pro­pri­ate mix of var­i­ous mis­siles and guns to meet the re­quire­ments of en­gag­ing with all types of threats. Typ­i­cally these would com­prise land at­tack ca­pa­ble cruise mis­siles, long-range sur­face-to-air mis­siles ca­pa­ble of de­feat­ing air­borne threats em­a­nat­ing from sea skim­ming and high div­ing mis­siles and air­craft, fully-au­to­matic twin bar­rel elec­tro­mag­netic rail or com­pact stealth tur­ret with ca­pa­bil­ity of fir­ing op­er­a­tor se­lectable dif­fer­ent types of mu­ni­tions, com­bined multi-bar­rel and mis­sile ca­pa­ble close-in weapon sys­tem/point de­fence mis­sile sys­tem for short and medium-range anti-air, anti-sur­face and anti-mis­sile de­fence pur­poses.

•• ASW Weapons: Ver­ti­cal launch light weight tor­pe­does ca­pa­ble of sus­tained run at high speed with op­er­a­tor se­lectable ver­ti­cal and hor­i­zon­tal search pat­terns. The torpedo trans­ducer is op­er­a­tor con­fig­urable as per bathy­met­ric and tac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions. The ship-borne he­li­copter would be ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing tor­pe­does so as to get stand-off ad­van­tage.

•• Coun­ter­mea­sure Dis­penser Sys­tem: Ca­pa­ble of de­ploy­ing ad­vanced an­ti­air/AMD coun­ter­mea­sures like su­per rapid bloom­ing off board chaff and mul­ti­ple types of anti-torpedo de­coys for hard kill, acous­tic se­duc­ers and wake en­hancers. 7a.7a.

•• Avi­a­tion Ca­pa­bil­ity: The ship will have he­li­copter deck and hangar ca­pa­ble of oper­at­ing a heavy lift he­li­copter, multi-

Ship’s Data Net­works

The CAIO and CMS col­late, process, present and ex­ploit the data from the sen­sors, weapons and other sys­tems on­board. The ship’s data bus per­forms the func­tion of car­ry­ing and dis­tribut­ing the data to the var­i­ous net­works and sys­tems.

••In­te­grated Ship’s Data Net­work: It in­te­grates the fol­low­ing func­tions and re­quire­ments:

– Sen­sors and weapons CAIO in­te­gra­tion—for com­mand and con­trol, nav­i­ga­tion, elec­tronic war­fare sup­port, tac­ti­cal and non-tac­ti­cal data pro­cess­ing and sup­port func­tions.

Ship’s in­ter­nal voice and data com­mu­ni­ca­tion re­quire­ments com­pris­ing broad­casts, in­ter­coms, tele­phones and CCTV. The ver­sa­tile con­sole sys­tem, composite com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem for ex­ter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions and tele­phone ex­change will use the net­work to ex­change data.

– Data link in­ter­face to share and dis­trib­ute in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­cate in real-time or non real-time be­tween all ships, air­craft and es­tab­lish­ments in op­er­a­tional sce­nario.

– Ship wide dis­tri­bu­tion of ship’s house hold­ing data for tac­ti­cal and non-tac­ti­cal pro­cess­ing and pre­sen­ta­tion.

•• In­te­grated Bridge Man­age­ment Sys­tem (IBMS): IBMS col­lects, pro­cesses and presents nav­i­ga­tional and other rel­e­vant data to im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of the ship’s nav­i­ga­tion and safety at sea. ••In­te­grated Plat­form Man­age­ment Sys­tem (IPMS): IPMS func­tions as an in­tel­li­gent, fully-au­to­mated and in­te­grated propul­sion, plant and ma­chin­ery, and power gen­er­a­tion man­age­ment sys­tem. The sen­sors and weapons sys­tems would be expected to per­form and de­liver as per spec­i­fi­ca­tions, but the over­all suc­cess of the role and mis­sion of the ship would de­pend upon the in­te­gra­tion of sys­tems and their net­work­ing. There­fore, the com­mand and con­trol sys­tem needs to be em­pha­sised and looked at in some de­tail. role, multi-mis­sion ca­pa­ble medium-lift he­li­copter plus tac­ti­cal UAV. It would be ca­pa­ble of de­ploy­ing M/HALE UAVs.

Naval Com­mand and Con­trol Sys­tems

A com­mand and con­trol sys­tem is ger­mane to suc­cess of a mis­sion for a mod­ern war­ship. Ad­vances in mi­cro­elec­tron­ics and data pro­cess­ing tech­nol­ogy have made sys­tems which are soft­ware in­ten­sive and have em­bed­ded in­tel­li­gence. The es­sen­tial com­po­nents of a com­mand and con­trol sys­tem are:

••Sen­sors: Radar, IFF, sonar, elec­tro-op­tic,


••Se­cure com­mu­ni­ca­tion

In­ter­nal, ex­ter­nal and tac­ti­cal

•• Data link

••Elec­tronic sur­veil­lance

elec­tronic war­fare sys­tems

•• Nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems

••Com­mand and con­trol sys­tems



•• Fire con­trol sys­tems

••Weapons- guns, mis­siles, tor­pe­does, rock­ets, de­coys

Sys­tem engi­neer­ing and in­te­gra­tion for in­ter­ac­tion be­tween com­po­nents to achieve op­ti­mum op­er­a­tional per­for­mance is the essence of com­bat sys­tem engi­neer­ing. (See Fig­ure I for con­cept of a naval com­mand and con­trol sys­tem.)

The CMS con­cept is based on an ar­chi­tec­tural back­bone, con­sist­ing of an open sys­tem us­ing mod­ern soft­ware and hard­ware tech­nolo­gies. The hu­man in­ter­faces are de­signed to op­ti­mise the use of multi-func­tion con­soles and to sat­isfy the de­mand­ing re­quire­ments for re­duced man­ning. As­sis­tance to the com­mand func­tions is pro­vided in the fol­low­ing main ar­eas:

••Eval­u­a­tion of bat­tle space tac­ti­cal


••Threat eval­u­a­tion and weapon


••Man­age­ment of com­bat sys­tems

re­sources (sen­sors and ef­fec­tors)

•• Air­craft and he­li­copter con­trol

••Con­duct of anti-sur­face, anti-air­craft

and anti-sub­ma­rine op­er­a­tions

••Man­age­ment of tac­ti­cal data links

•• Nav­i­ga­tion

•• Force co­or­di­na­tion

••Data­base man­age­ment

••Mes­sage han­dling man­age­ment

••Record­ing and play­back

De­fence Ca­pa­bil­ity Re­quire­ments and Tech­nol­ogy Strat­egy

Na­tional se­cu­rity and de­fence ca­pa­bil­i­ties are highly de­pen­dent on tech­nol­ogy and its ex­ploita­tion. Long-term tech­nol­ogy plan­ning, nur­tur­ing re­search, de­sign and de­vel­op­ment at cen­tres of ex­cel­lence, ship pro­duc­tion, pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship re­quires a holis­tic ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the dy­namic se­cu­rity sce­nar­ios, na­tional de­fence pos­tures, doc­trines and na­tional poli­cies and pri­or­i­ties. Com­pre­hen­sive study of long-term se­cu­rity sce­nario will influence the de­fence and mil­i­tary re­quire­ments of the fu­ture. This long-term tech­nol­ogy vi­sion and fore­cast will pro­vide unique ben­e­fit of seed­ing the right tech­nolo­gies, de­vel­op­ing them into mil­i­tar­ily de­ploy­able sys­tems.

War­ship, Sen­sor and Weapon In­duc­tion Cy­cle

The de­sign, plan­ning, pro­duc­tion and in­duc­tion of a mod­ern war­ship with highly so­phis­ti­cated sen­sors, weapons, propul­sion plant and ma­chin­ery is an ex­tremely com­plex and long-drawn process, in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple agen­cies with very high level of ex­per­tise. It in­volves multi-dis­ci­plinary, ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies oper­at­ing in a very dense equip­ment en­vi­ron­ment, en­gi­neered and in­te­grated to de­liver high per­for­mance in very de­mand­ing sce­nar­ios. This ca­pa­bil­ity has to be ex­tremely well-con­ceived, planned, ex­e­cuted and man­aged through mul­ti­ple agen­cies within cost, time and with life cy­cle sup­port. (The key ar­eas in the con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion, de­sign, pro­duc­tion and in­duc­tion of naval sys­tems and ships are il­lus­trated in Fig­ure 2.)

The cy­cle com­mences with a state­ment of qual­i­ta­tive re­quire­ments which broadly de­fines the ca­pa­bil­ity and per­for­mance char­ac­ter­is­tics of the ship and its sen­sors, weapons, propul­sion plant and equip­ment and ma­chin­ery.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, the re­search and de­vel­op­ment ( R&D) and in­dus­try ca­pa­bil­ity (pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors) is an­a­lysed to as­sess the ca­pa­bil­ity to de­velop and de­liver the re­quire­ments and evolve a strat­egy for build­ing the ship and its in­duc­tion into the Navy. Also, the naval de­sign­ers and en­gi­neers evolve the ba­sic de­sign, lay­ing down the salient pa­ram­e­ters, gen­eral ar­range­ments and lay­out of the ship, decks, com­part­ments, sen­sors, weapons, propul­sion plant, equip­ment and ma­chin­ery and their de­tailed tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

The ba­sic de­sign and tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions leads to iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of tech­nolo­gies and the as­sess­ment of ca­pa­bil­ity to de­sign and de­velop the sys­tem build­ing blocks—sen­sors, weapons and other mod­ules and to in­te­grate them to de­liver the per­for­mance as spec­i­fied in the qual­i­ta­tive re­quire­ments and tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions. This re­quires high level pol­icy and de­ci­sions for pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship, form­ing con­sor­tiums, for­eign col­lab­o­ra­tion, trans­fer of tech­nol- ogy, li­censed pro­duc­tion, etc. as may be nec­es­sary in each case.

The ship­yard se­lected for the con­struc­tion of the ship does the de­tailed engi­neer­ing, pro­duc­tion and fit­ting out of the ship lead­ing to har­bour and sea tri­als and com­mis­sion­ing of the ship. The sup­pli­ers of sen­sors, weapons and sys­tems carry out the sys­tem engi­neer­ing and in­te­gra­tion and on­board tri­als in har­bour and at sea. It is ev­i­dent that all these are ex­tremely com­plex tasks in­volv­ing strate­gic think­ing, pol­icy for­mu­la­tion and a myr­iad of agen­cies and tasks to plan, ex­e­cute, dove- tail and mon­i­tor the ac­tiv­i­ties and events for or­derly ex­e­cu­tion and time and cost man­age­ment.

The Way Ahead

In­dia’s war­ship build­ing pro­gramme is a na­tional im­per­a­tive and ex­tremely rel­e­vant to our needs. There is ev­ery rea­son to en­hance this ca­pa­bil­ity in terms of de­sign know-how, pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity, in­fra­struc­ture, pro­duc­tion of marine equip­ment, sen­sors, weapons and sys­tems engi­neer­ing. Our ob­jec­tive should be to ben­e­fit from home-grown tech­nol­ogy and achieve self-re­liance. We need to di­rect our ef­forts in core tech­nolo­gies where in­dige­nous sub­sti­tutes are not avail­able at present and mit­i­gate the risk of tech­nol­ogy de­nial. Yet for­eign col­lab­o­ra­tion is in­escapable and es­sen­tial to re­main on par with emerg­ing trends.

From an in­dus­try per­spec­tive, enough is not be­ing done by the de­fence es­tab­lish­ment to get the pri­vate sec­tor in­dus­try on board in our ac­qui­si­tion and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes. Marginal­is­ing a vi­tal arm and a na­tional as­set like the pri­vate sec­tor in­dus­try is a se­ri­ous omis­sion, en­tirely to the detri­ment of our self-re­liance and de­fence pre­pared­ness.

The pri­vate sec­tor in­dus­try is a global player in sev­eral do­mains by virtue of tech­nol­ogy ab­sorp­tion, man­age­rial skills and open com­pe­ti­tion. Our in­dus­try is ex­tremely nim­ble and flex­i­ble in its ap­proach and this can con­sid­er­ably re­duce the de­vel­op­ment/ac­qui­si­tion cy­cle and cost of de­fence projects. Also, they have easy ac­cess to ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and can en­able for­eign col­lab­o­ra­tion. The in­dus­try should be en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate and be­come part­ners in de­fence pro­grammes by giv­ing in­cen­tives for R&D, award of de­vel­op­ment projects and com­pet­i­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion.

In­dia’s strate­gic ob­jec­tives re­quire a strong maritime pres­ence in the In­dian Ocean and sur­round­ing re­gions. To achieve this ob­jec­tive, we re­quire sus­tained ef­forts by var­i­ous na­tional in­sti­tu­tions, the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO), both pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors to build a tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced Navy and sup­port in­fra­struc­ture, well-equipped with fu­tur­is­tic naval sys­tems and war­ships.

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