Do we need NGD?



3/31/20233 min read

Changing situation

Why India Needs NGD/Project 18 Class Destroyers. This question may have been come to many of your minds why Indian Navy is pushing for Next Generation destroyer aka Project 18.

In this article we hope to answer your questions.

Escort Role

With Indian naval strategy based on Naval air warfare and greater emphasis on Aircraft carrier, and INS Vishal on the horizon, Indian navy's carrier group are going to play an ever increasing role in the naval operations and warfare, an aircraft carrier in not the only unit of the carrier group but accompanied by various type of ships of multiple roles from support ships like tanker to air defence frigate, destroyers and submarines, majority of time US carrier battle/strike group are accompanied by large number of ship ranging anywhere from 5 to 7 depending or group and role, while no ships are permanent, and component ships changes from time to time but are most time constituent of cruisers and destroyers, Ticonderoga class cruiser has played an important in the us battle group for the last 40 plus years, and the current and upcoming Chinese carrier battle group will consistent of Type 55 class destroyers or cruisers as designated by the NATO due to its size, role and capabilities. It wouldn't be wrong to say that the Project 18 class “Super Destroyers” will fill this role in the Indian Carrier Battle group fulfilling the similar role, capabilities and in size and will be the largest ship in the groups on second to the aircraft carrier.

Rapid Militarization of Indo pacific region and ever-changing defence situation has made the geo political situation more dangerous than ever. With rapid rise of china and emerge of new class of "Super Destroyer" all over world from ROK's Sejong Class to JMSDF Maya and Italian planned super destroyer and future American destroyer displacing almost 14,000 tons. India needs to maintain parity at least in size and capabilities and this will be full filled with the Next Generation Destroyer, capable of serving Indian interest in whole Indo pacific regions. With increasing role of the Indian Navy in the region and increasing threats, it needs to be ensured to tackle all the current and emerging threats. And keeping with emerging naval trends and capabilities, Project 18 is vital to ensure the Indian vitality in the region and her interest to ensure that Indian needs to up its game. In order to patrol and project power in such a vast region Indian navy needs it's aircraft carrier and to ensure their safety and survivability needs capable escort ships cable of facing current and future potential threats and in such scenario NGD plays and ever important role.

Emerging Technology and role

With the development of future variants of Brahmos; both light and hypersonic or any future SAM system like VLSRSAM or planed ones. In order to accommodate such large variety, quantity need to ensure such a platform which can carry not just large various types of missile but also in enough quantity, with current destroyers having penalty due to their size and design, need to ensure future platforms can accommodate them. Project 18 class will also ensure more indigenization over the previous platforms with more indigenized missile systems, DRDO developed Indian radar and various sensor, Integrated Electric Propulsion systems, dependence on foreign origin defence sub system will be greatly reduced.

Future Proof

As a Shield against Enemy's threats

While current platforms are capable of serving current and near future needs, role and capabilities, but with a horizon for next 30 to 40 years, India needs to develop a platforms which can fulfil this, and NGD will play an important role for decade to come, and would be able accommodate any future threats and upgrades more easily than the current platforms deigned in 80's of last century and in early decade of this century. A military platform in any service is designed with future horizon for 20 to 30 years and able to be upgradable with threats and so the does the P 18 class destroyers ensures this in capability, role, severability, and able to be upgradable for futures threats, role, needs. Kolkata class is product of early 2000's while so does its upgraded variant Vishakhapatnam class. Indian navy needs a destroyer which can serve even beyond the 2050's and in more numbers than the any previous classes of destroyers ever.

With PLA/N already operating Anti-Ship Ballistic missiles, need for Anti-ballistic Missile defence (ABM) is more important than ever, while no information regarding this development or role planned on the Project 18 class destroyers are clear or stated. It would be wrong to say there is need for the capability for the Indian navy when operating far from the land based ABM systems, and NGD is the most potent candidate to fulfil this role in similar way to the American/Japanese AEGIS Destroyers/Cruisers. Conclusion With changing and emerging Geo Political situation, Technology, Mission, role, threats Indian Navy's needs a future capable and proof platform capable of performing intended roles in a ever changing environment. And for that NGD/P 18 class Super Destroyers are a prime candidate for this.