New Delhi: To bolster the Navy's combat capability, the government has approved building of four new power-packed destroyer warships.
Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL) would soon get the "follow-on orders" for building the new destroyers of the 'Kolkata' class, top Navy sources said here on Tuesday.
"The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has last month given in-principle approval to the Navy's proposal for construction of four new Kolkata class destroyers," they said.
The construction of the sophisticated ships under "Project 15B" would begin soon after the MDL completes building of the first three destroyers of the Kolkata class under "Project 15A".
These would be indigenous combat vessels built with advanced stealth features and would have land attack capabilities.
"In all, the Navy proposes to have seven Kolkata class destroyers," the sources said.
Currently, the Navy has three Delhi class and five Rajput class destroyers among its fleet strength of about 140 warships that are in service. The Kolkata class destroyers are expected to join the Navy one each every year beginning with 2010.
The MDL had begun construction of the Kolkata class ships in September 2003.
With a 6,800-tonne displacement, the Kolkata class of warship could achieve speeds of 30-plus knots.
Mounted with 'Nagin' active towed array sonar and 'Humsa-NG' hull-mounted radar, the warships would be armed with Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos cruise missiles and the Israeli Barak surface-to-air missiles.
On the Navy's other future project, the sources said the building of four new guided missile stealth frigates, as a follow-on of the Shivalik class being built at MDL, has been approved and their construction would also be launched soon, taking the number in this class of warships to seven.
The first three Shivalik class frigates are scheduled to become fully operational by 2012 and later the next lot of four warships in this class would then be built, the sources said.
The Navy would also receive the first of the four anti- submarine warfare corvettes beginning 2012 from Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and their delivery would be completed in 2014, they said.
"The new corvettes would be comparable or even better than the French navy's La Fayette class of combat vessels," they said.