The Great Asian Showdown : India’s Kolkata Class v/s China’s Type-52D Destroyer



This is my first article which involves comparing major frontline warships. In this article I will compare the most powerful destroyers of the Chinese Navy and the India Navy, The Type-52D class and Kolkata class respectively. The reason I’m choosing to compare these two is because they are the newest destroyers of their respective nations and incorporate multifunction AESA radars and long range missiles with vertical launch capabilities. They pack a formidable punch but they have their strengths and weaknesses. These two ships will be the primary escorts of the Chinese Navy and Indian Navy carriers for years to come. They are game changers for their respective nations. All these will be discussed in detail in the comparison below. I am comparing only the most important aspects of each ship.

10 points have been allocated for each category and it will be totaled up at the end of the comparison. This is entirely my opinion and analysis and you are free to make your own analysis or suggestions in the comment section below as a good discussion is always appreciated.


Kolkata Class:

The Kolkata follows the Soviet tradition of having an assortment of weapons at the bow on various raised platforms. It has a 163 m long hull which is retained from its predecessor, Delhi class. It displaces around 7500 tons when fully loaded. The massive size of the ship allows the installation of a wide range of sensors and weapons. The Indians have chosen to leave a lot of deck space for future additions and upgrades.

kolkata 7

Type 52D:

This uses essentially the same hull as its predecessor, the Type-52C. Its hull is slightly smaller at 154 m, but it displaces around 7500 tons when fully loaded suggesting that it is packed to the brim with sensors and weapons and there is hardly any space left for additions of new systems.



Kolkata Class:

This is the first Indian warship to use an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, which has 4 static panels instead of a single rotating panel. This Multi-Function radar also allows for the replacement of a dozen other smaller search, track and fire control radars with a single system. The Israeli MF-STAR has been chosen for this role. It is mounted very high up on a specially built mast.

The MF-STAR operates in the S-band of radio frequency. It consists of 4 panels mounted on each side of the main mast. This radar is capable of performing a variety of functions like

  • Long range surface surveillance
  • Long range 3D air surveillance
  • Gunnery control
  • Target classification
  • Simultaneous multi-engagement support
  • Guidance for active and semi active missiles

These features make the INS Kolkata, the most advanced radar platform in the Indian Navy. The radar is said to be capable of guiding 24 missiles at once to hit 12 targets. This gives the ship an ability to defend itself against saturation air attacks depending on the number of available missiles. The MF-STAR is capable of detecting large aerial targets at distances >250 km and sea skimming cruise missiles at ranges >25 km. The actual values are much higher and are classified. Since Israel is one of the leading makers of radars, I will give them the benefit of doubt and award them with a high rating.

Its secondary radar is a Thales LW-08 2D radar which operates in the D-Band. It’s a long range surveillnce radar and provides target indication to weapon control systems.

It scores 10/10 in this category


The primary radar, the Type-348, is similar in arrangement to the SPY-1 radars of the American AEGIS system. It is a dual band AESA which has 4 square panels mounted on 4 sides of the superstructure. This radar is said to have a range of 350 km and is primarily associated with the HQ-9 SAM.  China claims that this radar has the capability to detect stealth fighters like the F-35, but i seriously doubt this claim.

The secondary radar on board is the Type-517 A-band VHF air search radar. The biggest problem is that, details of new Chinese radars aren’t available anywhere. But their radars, though powerful, aren’t on par with the western radars.

It scores 8/10 in this category. 


Both these ships rely mainly on vertically launched missiles as their primary weapon and guns as their secondary weapon. The Type52D possesses a Universal Vertical Launcher system with 64 cells which can fire any type of missile from Surface to Air, Surface to Surface to Anti-Submarine missiles. The Kolkata meanwhile makes use of a fixed missile launch VLS which can launch only one type of missile.


Kolkata Class:

16 BrahMos VLS and a 76 mm gun

India has chosen to make this class excel in surface warfare. Its main armament is a battery of 16 vertically launched BrahMos supersonic long range Anti-Ship missiles. This is by far one of the deadliest missile armament of contemporary warships. It can hit ships at ranges of around 300 km with extreme accuracy. It has 2 flight paths, 120 km range in sea skimming profile or 300 km range in a high altitude with a terminal 40 km sea skimming profile. The missile maintains a speed of Mach 2-3 throughout its flight, which makes it extremely difficult for modern defense systems to shoot it down. There is space behind the 16 VLS cells for a batch of 8 more cells, but has been left empty. I strongly feel that India will install their new Land Attack Cruise Missile, the 1000 km range Nirbhay in that space once it has entered service.

Naval variant
INS Kolkata firing BrahMos

Secondary surface warfare capability is provided by its 76 mm Oto Melara super rapid gun, which can fire 120 rounds per minute up to a distance of 15 km against surface targets and up to 8 km against aerial targets. This gun is supposed to be extremely effective against low flying aircraft and cruise missiles. The small caliber of this gun limits its range and effectiveness in shore bombardment roles. It is unknown whether India has procured guided shells for use with this gun.

It’s limited 16 missile loadout and the small caliber main gun ensures that it bags 9/10 in this category

Type 52D:

32 x 2 Vertical Launch Cells

The configuration of this ship for surface warfare can be changed based on mission requirements due to its Universal Vertical Launchers which can fire any type of missile. An ideal layout would consist of 16 YJ-12Anti-Ship Missiles (AShM) for surface warfare. The range of the missile is said to vary from 220 km to around 350-400 km depending on flight profile. The only drawback of this missile over BrahMos is that it travels at subsonic speeds at 40 km altitude and reaches supersonic speeds only during the final dive towards its target, which makes it easy to intercept using long and medium range missiles during the subsonic phase. But an alternate high-low flight profile gives it a range of 250-300 km, putting it in the same category as the Indian BrahMos. Nevertheless, a large number of these missiles can be fired which gives it the ability to saturate modern air defenses.

The flexibility of the UVLS allows it to practically carry 32 AShMs on a dedicated surface warfare mission which is a huge advantage over the fixed 16 AShM loadout on INS Kolkata. This would give it the best AShM loadout among contemporary ships, but a balanced load would be 16 AShMs. The best bet against a salvo of YJ-12 missiles would be a layered air defense system.

130 mm gun type 52D
130 mm gun

Secondary surface warfare capability is provided by a 130 mm main gun. This has an effective range of over 25 km against surface targets and can prove to be very useful in shore bombardment missions. Its capability against aircraft and missiles is very limited. The ability to carry a 16-32 missiles and the presence of a large caliber main gun ensure that it gets 10/10 in this category.


Kolkata Class:

The primary Long-Range SAM on board the Kolkata is the Barak-8 which has been jointly developed by India and Israel. This 90+ km range missile is designed from the start to intercept supersonic cruise missiles which travel a few meters above water which makes it perfect for missile defense. It is housed in specific launchers at the fore and aft of the ship. The total loadout is 32 missiles though there is easily enough space to mount 64 cells of Barak-8 missiles in the future. The Barak-8 s very unique because it has a minimum range of just 0.5 km when similar missiles have a minimum range of 3-4 km. This enables it to intercept missiles very close to the ship and it performs the role of a point defense SAM as well. 24 Barak-8 can be guided at once to intercept 12 targets simultaneously.

It lacks a secondary layer SAM system and all the burden is on the 32 Barak-8 to perform area defense, missile defense and point defense duties. But its current load of 32 Barak-8 is highly insufficient for a destroyer of this size in a modern day conflict. Ships of the same category of other nations carry 48-96 SAMs in comparison.

The role of CIWS is left to the 4 AK-630 6 barreled, 30 mm Gatling guns which is a last ditch defense against missiles. It has an effective range of 4 km. The 76 mm main gun also has excellent anti-air capability and can complement the CIWS with its effective range of 8 km against aerial threats. All these guns are open loop and depend on the sensors and radars mounted on the ship. The advantage is that these sensors can detect targets at long ranges as they are mounted high up and increase the effective range of these guns. If it had the 10 km range Barak-1 like its predecessor, it would have had a 3 layered air defense system with a total of 64 missiles. The current 2 layered air defense system leaves it vulnerable to a saturation attack as it can run out of missiles very fast.

It scores a 7/10 in the CIWS category

It scores a 10/10 in the missile defense category.

It scores a 4/10 in the area defense category.


This is one category where the Chinese have an edge over the Indians. The Type-52D can carry 64 Surface to Air missiles (SAMs) theoretically on a pure anti-air mission. But practically its loadout will be 32-48 cells of SAMs. Its primary SAM is the HQ-9B which is a long range area defense SAM. It has a slant range of 200 km which gives it a unique advantage over the Kolkata. It can shoot down a missile launch platform like fighter aircraft at 200 km before the fighter can fire its AShMs at it. The ability to destroy missile launch platforms means that it can prevent saturation missile attacks. The only thing that needs to be considered is an Airborne Radar platform like the Ka-31 in order to detect and guide the HQ-9B to hit low flying targets at 200 km. High altitude aerial targets can be detected by the ship’s radar and engaged independently.

HQ-9B Vertical Launch

The secondary air defense is provided by the HQ-16 SAM which has a range of 50 km. There are rumors that the Chinese are developing a new medium range SAM that can be quad packed in 1 UVLS cell. If this is true, it would allow the Chinese to have a huge number of missiles on board as 32 such medium range missiles can be packed into 8 cells. The ability of the HQ-9B to engage sea skimming missiles at short ranges is seriously doubted. Hence, to complement the HQ-16, the Chinese have installed a short range missile system FL-3000N to deal with sea skimming missiles at ranges of 10 km. An 18 cell FL-3000N launcher is installed on top of the hangar at the aft. This missile is comparable to the American RAM in dimensions and role.

The last ditch anti-missile capability is provided by a Type 730 Close in Weapons system. This has a 6 barreled 30 mm Gatling gun which can effectively engage sea skimming missiles at a range of 2 km. It is a closed loop CIWS and unlike the Ak-630, it has its own radar and electro-optical sensors which reduce its dependency on ship borne sensors and allow it to operate independently. This, combined with the missiles give the Type-52D a 4 layer air defense system, which is definitely an advantage over the 2 layered air defense system of the Kolkata.

It scores an 8/10 in the CIWS category

It scores an 8/10 in the missile defense category.

It scores a 10/10 in the area defense category.


Kolkata Class:

This class has a very well balanced suite of ASW weapons, platforms and sensors. The Sonar is an indigenously developed HUMSA bow sonar and the towed array is yet to be procured. This is a temporary hindrance and it will most likely receive a Thales ATAS soon.


The main ASW weapon will be its 2 twin 533 mm torpedo tubes which can fire long range, heavyweight torpedoes with a range of up to 40 km. It is complemented by the RBU-6000 rocket launching system. This unique system can launch a variety of ASW rockets fitted with mines, explosives or decoys. 2 launchers with a total of 24 rocket tubes and 192 reloadable rockets are carried. This system has a range of 6 km max which makes it effective against submarines in littoral ad blue water regions. It can also act as a hardkill measure against incoming torpedoes if sufficient warning is there. The other role it can fulfill is that of anti-frogman where it can fire death charges against combat divers who try to sabotage ships.

The dual helicopter hangars

Beyond the horizon ASW capability is provided by ASW helicopters. The Kolkata has 2 large hangars which can support any modern ASW helicopter. Since India is most likely to procure MH-60R as its next ASW helo, 2 of those on a destroyer would make it extremely effective against enemy submarines. Currently it can deploy the Seaking ASW helo which can carry 2 lightweight torpedoes. Overall the Kolkata class has a well-balanced and powerful ASW capability on par with its western equivalents.

It scores 9/10 in ASW


Bow mounted sonar

The Type-52D has a bow mounted sonar and a towed array sonar. Its main ASW weapon is 2 triple mountings for a total of 6 lightweight torpedo tubes. These have a range of around 15 km. It also has 4, 18 tube ASW rocket launchers, which are non-reloadable and have a range of around 1 km. It is used to fire decoys against incoming torpedoes and to act as last ditch defense against submarines.

Single helicopter hangar and ASW rocket launchers (highlighted)

It is rumored that it can fire a vertically launched ASW missile with a range of 30 km. But this report hasn’t been confirmed and there is no evidence of such a missile. Over the horizon ASW capability is provided by a single ASW helicopter. This offers half the capability of the Kolkata which can house 2 helicopters. Overall, the ASW reach of this ship is comparatively lower than the Kolkata class. It is the only category where the Indian ship dominates.

It scores 7/10 in ASW


RADAR 10          8






TOTAL 49/60 51/60


The Kolkata class narrowly loses out in the overall rating. Its main strengths lie in its radar systems and ASW. The Type-52D has its strengths in Anti-Air and Anti-Surface warfare. Both are first rate products of their respective nations and truly deserve the attention they get.

A higher rating for the Type-52D doesn’t necessarily mean that it will win against the Kolkata in a one on one engagement. Victory in a conflict depends largely on the training of the crew in maneuvering, damage control and the tactics employed the captain.

Enjoyed this article? Rate it below!

NOTE: I may have missed out a few points and categories in order to keep the article within a reasonable size. Feel free to add to my article in the comments section.


146 Replies to “The Great Asian Showdown : India’s Kolkata Class v/s China’s Type-52D Destroyer”

    1. Dear Allwyn

      The report of 64 missiles is 10 years old. The wring information spread because of ignorant Indian journalists. The actual loadout on the final ship is 32 missiles. You can confirm by seeing the photos of INS Kolkata. I’m 100% sure about the authenticity of my information. More missiles may be added in the future.


  1. I think IN will add some more new sensors and weapons in near future that’s the reason a lot of space have been left for future up gradation..but in case of Chinese the type 52 is fully loaded .. And the major drawback of kolkata is 2 layer air defence …


  2. The Kolkata will perhaps get Barak-8ER in near future which will have a max range of 120Kms.Moreover as mentioned above in the article about Nirbhay,it is definitely going to happen.What i feel is we must get more Kolkata.(Project-15C) or something like that.


  3. I think Kolkata class destroyer was built with a strategic purpose to excel in ASW, radar and surface warfare because of the current geo-politics in the Indian Ocean, plus the Indian ocean is vast compared to Chinese waters. Maybe thats why, the Type-52D destroyer doesn’t have a good radar capability.

    I think the successor to this class Project-15B would likely have more missiles for anti-air warfare plus the flush deck and would make the ship more stealthy while clearing some more space. I also read somewhere that the ship would be quieter and use high grade steel.

    That would really make the ship to be called as one of the best non-aegis destroyer built by an asian country.


  4. Indeed a very interesting analysis of the warships.I would like to admit not even for a single time during this article I lost my interest (which usually happens when reading about military hardware). I would love if you may,write some articles on indigenous projects being carried out by India. Like top 10 Indian defense projects or something like that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “The biggest problem is that, details of new Chinese radars aren’t available anywhere. But their radars, though powerful, aren’t on par with the western radars.”

    Talk about denial, if you had even a clue about radar you’d at least take a look at aperture, which fundamentally determines both module count, gain and agility. There are no western radars yet on par with Type 348 until 14-ft AMDR comes along. The tiny air cooled MF-STAR at at most 60% the size Type 348, isn’t even in the same league.

    Of course the fundamental issue with this comparison to begin with is China’s system actually works, the country can build its own ships, its own systems, on top of the 052C, there’s already 1 D variant commissioned, multiple undergoing sea trial plus another 8 under various stages of production. Kolkata, for all the talk, hasn’t even managed to fire a single anti-air missile after more than 10 years of “production”. This entire article is comparing a dream to reality, and the dream still lost…

    Truth is there is no comparison, the two countries aren’t even in the same league, why bother?




      1. 1) There was a plan to acquire 127mm guns from the same manufacturer, but it didn’t realise due to various delays in procurement process. As the destroyers were already sitting idle in the docks due to delay in availability of various weapons, they fitted it out with a 76mm gun which is being manufactured under license in India.

        2) There is room for improvement. More missiles can be fitted out, like 8 more cells for Nirbhay/Brahmos as mentioned above. Also as for SAMs, an extended range Barak-8 with a reported range of 150 km (latest report) will be ready by 2018. I strongly believe that we can add 32 of these in addition to the existing 32 missiles of 70km range. This will also add a third layer of air defense.

        We have one of the best naval ship designing bureau in the world. We don’t need to buy any foreign designs for frigates and destroyers. However we do consult others for help in the case of aircraft carrier designs, as of now.

        3) Even the Chinese did not go for parallel production until they got a solid and refined design. Once we refine our designs to perfection, we will mass produce. Probably the follow on class of P-15B will be mass produced. You should also remember the fact that we are now match to Chinese shipbuilding industry as of now. Of we encourage private players with good orders, we can easily build a robust shipbuilding industry in 10 to 15 years.

        Now please have some respect for our Naval planners. They are not fools. They try build the best out of the available resources, technology and expertise.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi guy.
        I think it’s not a wise idea to rely the supply of missiles from Isreal, especially when war were really broken out or when the diplomatic relationship changed, the supply will be cut, no matter how good it is. However, the maximum range is only 70 KM, which is too, not a good choice. India navy will be helpless and fail to counter any possible missile or air attach. Even meantime, Indian navy is short of antiair missile due to frequent war games with other navies. I wonder why india can wait desperately the supply till 2018 if war is inevitable.


      3. The Barak-8 missiles will be manufactured in India and according to the available report , over 4000 will be made for the navy and air force. The range will be extended to 150 km with a booster. The 70 km is the base variant. Since the missiles will be made in India , they won’t have to worry about importing from Israel.


      4. Time is the essence. However, since the Barak-8 antiair missile is still in trail stage at Isreal, it should take certain period of time until it can be actually active upon the trail is up to expecting. For future production in India, it will also take extra time to let Israel to build another production line, ship the parts to India and test run after installation. Besides, the major electronic parts are also supplied by Israel, that’s why India will most likely get the ‘home made’ base version Barak-8 antiair missiles no earlier than 2018. For upgrade version, it will take another couple of years as the firing device at the warships should be upgraded until the new version missiles can be installed. Thus, what I worry is meantime, the Indian navy ships are volnurable for missile attacks. Besides, even the Barak-8 missiles were in place, 32 is not sufficient to counter saturated missiles attacks as usually it needs 2 missiles to kill one incoming supersonic missile. Therefore, my another concern is the destroyer is not fit to protect the aircraft carrier unless there are 4 destroyers each carrying 32 Barak missiles in the battle group.


      5. The carriers themselves will carry 32 Barak-8 missiles. And India doesn’t face the threat of a saturation missile attack. Their biggest threat is submarines.


      6. The 76mm is a good gun for rapid fire in both Anti-Air mode or Surface mode, with a high rate of fire. A bigger caliber gun will give you longer range (for NGS for example) but rate of fire will be slower and it will not be effective in an Anti-Air mode – as always with complex platforms, everything is a compromise – it depends what capability you want.


      7. 76mm gun or AK630 are only have the chance to counter subsonic missiles. Any incoming supersonic missiles should be countered by high speed missiles especially for those with speed faster than 2M. Thus, relying a 76mm gun to counter incoming missile attacks is not practical.


    2. Kolkata has Israeli MF-STAR radar, read again, over and over again. Chinese have their copied generation old degraded SPY-1 level radar. If you think that Israeli radar tech is behind that of Chinese, why bother enlightening you? If you forgot how badly China wanted to get hands on Israeli Phalcon radar, why bother telling you the story. One can churn out junk load of Type 50-52 but only a battle can decide these claims.


      1. First of all, the Chinese radar have nothing to do with the SPY-1, its an AESA, while SPY-1 is a PESA , before you make any comment you need to read about the basic principles of a modern aesa radar, its number of moduls, size are the most important factor in such a radar, and frankly the Chinese radar are by FAR bigger and thus with a certainty more powerful than the MF-Star on Kolkata, this is basic physical law and a fact, anyone who tries to say anything else would be merely an baseless opinion that denies the basic principles of how these radars work.
        The Israeli Phalcon deal is old news, todays China can and are making advanced AESA radar system everywhere, on land, sea and also airborn, they have made several different model of AESA based AWACS, their tech in this field is now actually considered better than the Israeli ones. As Chinese tech advances, peoples impression have been stuck in 15years ago, but everyone really should take a look at the international patent seeking offices statistic of recent years, the number one source country for patent seeker and grants are not India, not Japan,and no longer even USA, but is China now, talk about innovations and tech advancement, and people here still ranting about how Chinese been copycats…..sigh


    3. For ur kind information barak 8 is still under development…… And Kolkata has test fired it as a prototype…. It’s better to develop ur own missile than copying Russian missile and giving some bullshit name and using it
      More over as India has all info on Russian missile..I can take countermeasures.. But China has zero knowledge of barak 8


  6. Excellent analysis. The transparency and unbiased comparison of this article deserves the level of academic reading. I especially appreciate that the one to one comparison is about each ships respective capabilities. Amateur writers would be tempted to turn a military vehicle to vehicle comparison into a guessing game of which one would defeat the other in theoretical conflict. Opening the risk of one sided writing and over and under estimations. Writers about military news if making comparisons should view it like a Russian tank biathlon. Which vehicle completes the same obstacle the faster, smoother, more efficient, and scores more points.

    This was a solid piece of writing. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice read, full of specss and the like. I wonder if the Sikorsky SH-60/MH-60 Seahawk would come with the Mark 46 Torpedo….that would add more teeth in the ASW space….


  8. The missile used on type 052D is the YJ-18 ASHM and it travel Mach three speed throughout its flight. C-803 ASHM is the missile with terminal supersonic attack speed.


  9. Lot of empty space….it makes Kolkata more unpredictable…. Rajput class destroyers didn’t have VLS but now they are modified to carry barak-8 SAM….16 extra VLS


  10. The building of Kolkata are with:
    Steel from Russia,
    AK-630 from Russia,
    Anti- surface missiles from Russia,
    Anti -submarine rocket from Russia,
    Radar from Israel,
    Anti-air warfare from Israel but not yet in place as still under testing,
    Generator from GE, US
    Gas turbines from Ukraine,
    76 mm gun from Italy,
    Helicopter from US,
    No active towed array sonar decided yet, which making each ship costing 3,900 Crore or US870M with building period over 10 years due to most items by import except furniture in the ship. Even it is launched, the destroyer is still lack of air defense nor anti-submarine capabilities. Thus, this ship cannot regard as indigenous but assembling of multi- nations products and running the risk of shortage of foreign supply as well as non- compatible due to different systems.
    Therefore, Kolkata is not on the same level as 052d as which is 100 % home made.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. wrong info about the CIWS of 052D, the CIWS is 1130 not 730. 1130 has 11 barrels and spiting out about 12000 rounds per minute. It is more capable than the 730 and it can shot down up to mach 4 missile with 90% chance. 730 is for 052c not 052d and you can verify this info from wikipedia.


  12. very interesting reading… i like the analysis very much

    i read a lot other comparison betwen many corvette frigate and destroyer, this one might best by far from any other sourch…


  13. and type 730, could you plz count why it names in 7 and 30 but you wrote “This has a 6 barreled 30 mm Gatling gun” how careless you are?!


  14. The CIWS for 052d is type 1130 but not 630. Type 1130 fires 12,000 shoots per minute, which double the shoots of Ak630. With 12,000 shoots per minute, 1130 can counter any missile flying 3M or more and it’s the most effective CIWS in the meantime.


  15. Nice article Buddy.. Pretty unbiased I’d say. Keep up the good work.

    One thing is, since Barak-8 has a minimum range of just 500 mts, it can actually take up the role of CIWS as well. So it effectively covers both short and medium range layers of defense.. It is just that it carriers a limited number of missiles as of now.

    Also since the Barak-8 was designed from the scratch, keeping in mind the Brahmos (Yakhont), the Israelis claim that a single barak-8 has an exceptionally high kill rate against a supersonic sea skimming maneuvering target. As for subsonic missiles, it can definitely hit with a single missile. So no need to fire two missiles, at least for subsonic targets. However, the Radar can only target 12 targets at once, be it with two mistakes each or 1 middle each.

    Also I think that P-15A will be added with 32 Barak-8ER along with Nirbhay. Both of these will be available by 2018.. 🙂


  16. Hi bud,
    Please don’t forget Pakistan airforce have more than 100 JK-17 fighters, each of which can carry four YJ-12 supersonic missiles. Those missiles can be fired 400 KM away and can travel at the speed od 2.5M. 10 JK-17 can fire 40 supersonic missiles at the same time and how can the 32 Barak protect the carrier at one single fold of siturated attack. No need mentioning for second fold attack.


    1. Correction 1. Those missiles have a range of 250 k. 400 km is a fake figure.
      Correction 2. Those missiles travel at 15k m altitude at subsonic speed. Terminal dive reaches 2.5 mach.
      Correction 3. Each JF-17 carries max 2 CM-400AkG.
      Correction 5. JF-17 will be intercepted by IN MiG-29Ks. This isn’t a wild west shootout. Multiple assets will be in place to face the incoming threats.


      1. I must correct your correction as YJ-12 missiles have been upgraded to 400 KM range in 2015 and the travel speed have also increased to 4M
        While the engines of the 3rd block of JK17 have been upgraded, making the maximum speed up to 2M+ and with AESA rada for attack. Since having more powerful engines, they can carry 4 YJ12 missiles instead of 2 . Besides, both Indian carrier are too small and are weak in SAM and airborne early warning & control, the response of Mi29 is in query. The carriers also cannot rely the protection from Kolkata as which is lack of long range SAM, weak CIWS, no towed array sonar and no chopper on board. It just likes a no teeth tiger.
        In view of the foregoing, the whole Indian navy is volnurable by missile attacks or attacks from submarines.


      2. Pakistan have only 53 JF-17 , not 100.
        JF-17 can’t carry 4 YJ-12 missiles, YJ-12 weight 2500Kg. to carry 4 YJ-12 need 10000Kg. extra loaded weight, JF-17 carry almost 2400Kg. weight. Not any 4th. gen Fighter carries 10000Kg. payload. Simon’s most points are fake. In fact, he don’t knew, JF-17 is not introduced in Pakistani Navy.


      3. I’m sorry but you need to correct yourself. The Indian Navy uses MiG-29K. The K stands for Korabelny, which means marine variant. The MiG-29UPG is for the Air Force.


      4. Just a Side Note : Even though the pakistan Navy doesn’t have a fast jet under it control. We do see, PAF squadron with a marine strike role, though operated by the PAF is infact piloted by PN pilots. This squadron at this point, is mostly Mirages 5s, Not confirmed yet that these Mirages 5S, will be replaced by JF17s


  17. JF17 with AESA!??? … its still a pipe dream. No concrete info. Also just in case this is true!… its many many year still for JF17 blk 3 to be operation !… in the mean time you have the rest of the Kolkata Class commissioned with full compliment of sensor weapons and equipment! and + the Next P15B being built

    Also it is CM-400AKG the export version of the VJ12..still all the news related to this is all speculation and NO concrete info is given


  18. I understand India is really wish to build the warships indigenously. However, due to the weak industrial capabilities, nearly all weapons, radars, missiles, towed array sonar, helicopters and even the design are imported. It’s far from made in India but better be assembled in India.


    1. First Design: Its is an Improve design on the Delhi Class, its design IN house; Sonar system : In house ; CIC and work spaces, gallery, all the different compartment that make up a modern war ship, ALL design and built : IN House.
      yes , the rest of the equipment are imported!… Who does the designed and integrated all this in a single fighting platform? …. IN house … this is not a car , where as easily you say ” ASSEMBLE in India”

      To say a Weak Industrial Capabilities is LAUGHABLE !!! Heck …. The most advance SSK was just launch !!! …. SSBN is under sea trials …. and a 40,000Ton Aircraft carrier is soon to be finished!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Please don’t mention about the 40000 tons Carrier as it’s designed by Spain and later Italy and changed the tonnage from 18000 tons to 40000. At first the steel supposed purchased from Russia but refused until later the steel formula was purchased, which making a big delay on the launching date as it took time to make and tested the special steel. Besides, it also took time to purchase other equipment, should as radars, turbine engines, aircrafts, self-defend weapons, making this anot her example of Assemble in India. For the kolkatas, they are still lack of Barak 8 missiles until next year as Israel haven’t confirmed the shipment as the test was just finished. While Atas, the German supplier of towed array sonar refused to export their products to India due to corruption and the the destroyers are lack of anti submarine abilities and the Sea King helicopters don’t fit for modern warfare and Kolkata is lack of right helicopters. Of course, I agree with what you mentioned that all countries will import weapons and even US and China, both of them are weapons importers but only for small portion of high technology. But for India who needs to import rifles from Israel and bullets from Germany and the imminution stock is just good for a war between 10 to 20 days due to delay in shipments from foreign countries.


      2. Barak-8 is jointly developed and BrahMos is also jointly developed. 76 mm guns and Ak-630 are manufactured in India. The EW , combat and comms systems are Indian. I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that this ship is just assembled in India. The entire design was done by Mazagaon Docks.

        Comparatively the latest British Type-45 destroyer imports it’s Aster and Harpoon missiles. Most of the countries rely on imports or license production and that doesn’t make the ship any less effective or powerful.


  19. The Ak630 is from Russia. Oto 76mm gun is from Italy. Even both are made in India, the know-how is imported. For Barak 8 is an Israeli missiles are made in Israel, it is so- called jointly is just for the injection of fund which same the joint project with Russia for T50 stealth planes as india have only injected find but no say on the project as the technology is not originated in India. MODI said the kolkatas are the most formidable warship in the world but he never knows the gun is only 76mm, the barat8 in not in place so as the towed array sonar and the antique Sea King is obsolete but the Chetan is too light for ASW.


    1. The dual pulse rocket motor and other propulsion technology has been developed by India. I do not understand your anti-India stance over here. They don’t have much indigenous tech but do give them credit for what they have done.

      The power of a warship is not decided by its gun size alone. That is enough to show your understanding of naval systems. Even the Horizon class destroyers only have a 76 mm gun.

      Seahawks are being procured for the fleet ASW roles. Sea king has been upgraded heavily and nor obsolete. Chetak is too light for ASW but can still carry and drop torpedos.


    2. says the chink who copies everything lololololololol

      stop whining here you moron, most of the systems on INS Kolkata are based on verified systems, most of the chinese junk is probably fake, and if made in china junk is anything to go by, it’ll probably nose just a few metres away from d52. What a crappy country of small d*ck liars lol


      1. Your pathetic country cannot even repair the old M21 jets after decades of usage. If China makes junk, you only produce trash.


  20. Seeing a Pattern here , where every point you made, though countered, instead of agreeing or seeking a middle ground. you choose to pull another Rabbit out of the Pedantic HAT

    Suggestion is to STICK to the Topic!.

    Now , First you say all systems are imported and assemble in India , next you say they are Made in India? … Which is it?

    The Barak 8 is a joint Israel/DRDO , reports are there , that you have ppl from both countries are working together ! not just funding !

    T50 is altogether another story. where all reports are given by the journalists quoting sources. For this i need to see an official quote.

    76mm Deck Gun?… Pal… Have you read NRP blog or not? … clearly the reasons for this is given.

    The IN Seakings are being upgraded , they are old not Obsolete!… The Chetak are use for SAR , logistics NOT ASW!

    Thanks NRP , great BLOG!!


  21. NRP, I am not prepared to argue with you for all those contravescy, but just wish to discuss with you about the development of T50 stealth fighter. As a matter of fact, the Russian aeroplane technology is decades ahead of that of India as India take more than 30 years to develop her LCA, which after using GE engines, Russian radar/weapons, is still not too fit for combat. Thus, if you said the T50 is jointly developed by both countries, I wonder the only technology India can contribute is the 30 years experience of developing the LCA , which is definitely irrelevant to stealth planes. Thus, the only benefit is going to Russia as billions of dollars are paid but the procurement have no fruitful result but just keep waiting as India have no say in the project but can only continously injecting billions.


    1. Let me tell you something about LCA , You can’t compare LCA with JF-17, LCA is far ahead of that. LCA is Indian indigenous . LCA Mark-2 will be a fifth generation fighter. more experiments on LCA, Indian super weapon Kali is participating in LCA development. How to protect electronic circuits inside LCA from Microwave Guns and Beam weapons. DRDO is working on that. LCA is a way between HAL-AMCA and T-50Pak Fa. Kaveri Engine is also not failure, Kaveri Engine India will use for IUSAV and variant of that K-9 for HAL-AMCA.
      India never did big claims and better we never do that. If there is a war, only then, India will open its cards of surprise.
      LCA is a masterpiece in deed, but, India need LCA in 2022, not now, because of some strategic and economical points. IAF ordered 100-120,LCA Mark-1A. just to fulfill necessity of squadrons.
      To deal with Pakistani Aircrafts, Su-30MKI, Rafale, Mig-29K, Mig-29UPG are better than good enough.

      until Chinese J-20 and J-31 get operational, no point in introducing LCA and inside IAF.


      1. No. You can’t change an aircraft into an FGFA like that! It needs a complete new design from scratch with stealth shaping and other 5th gen technology.


      2. For any Aircraft to be qualified as a 5th Gen fighter !… one of the main characteristics is STEALTH. There are mock-ups of LCA Mk 2s shown, I’m sure you have seen this, does it look stealthy?. You might with getting confused with the HAL AMCA

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Same as the production of T90 tanks, Mig29 aircrafts, which are assembled in India under Russian supervision. Besides, India is unable to make conventional submarine, thus the manufactory of nuclear submarines is also another typical example of Assemble in India as nearly all the components are imported.


  23. India is a Cash cow as Modi make India the greatest weapons importers. He focus on military build up by foreign countries should as Russia, US, France, Germany, UK, Israel and Japan etc. Those countries regard India as their ATM machines as india shows strong desires to purchase modern weapons at any high costs instead of using her limited resources to improve infrastructure, sanitation and education.


  24. First i was going to reply point to point
    But then realize , that you are a TROLL …. if you didn’t know that …. YOU ARE A TROLL

    Comments coming from you.
    1) Out of Topic
    2) Pulling another Rabbit (another topic) out of the Pedantic HAT (advice please look up the meaning of this)
    3) Given comments and info that are VERY VERY OLD and are SO missed INFORMED, shows u lack the right knowledge to give a constructive comment

    U must be doing to get some sought of fame , why u do this? maybe u didn’t get enough hugs from your indian aunty?

    This is the last…. Enjoy Trolling


    1. Most Indians including PM Modi have a delusional thinking that India is 20 years ahead of China in every aspect especially military because they think their imported weaponry is the best. Thus, Kolkata kust be better than 052D and Barah 8 missiles is better than HQ9 and so on. Thus, I recommend those patriotic Indians to dig deeper into the fact and knowing that their military might is in fact much behind US and China. As the military budget for US and China is 600 billions and 160 billions respectively, while India have only 40 billions.


  25. simon is a butthurt slanty eyed troll lol… chinki’s boat uses most of the systems that are stolen from russia and ukraine and is 20 years old. Correct that first you moron


  26. Dear NRP congratulations for a nice article & beautiful comparison. Good to see you are progressing with military articles.

    For those who are arguing about various capabilities of each country, a Navy man here to speak a few words.

    1. Wars are never ever alone won by weapons alone nor a single platform.

    2. Most vital component of modern day warfare is C4ISR. The 2nd & 4th Cs and I are the most important of them.

    3. Any grade of weapon system can be deadly only when it is used correctly and precisely. Bulk of weapon load would be pain instead of gain if the point 2 lag behind the enemy’s.

    4. I think the author hasn’t mention about the Communication and EW systems in the article. Definitely the author analyzed about ND & Weapon Controlling and Direction Systems.

    5. The modern day Navies are more concerned about stealthy feature as same as Air Forces.

    6. A destroyer is part & parcel of CBG in a war scenario and the battle group complement each other for weakness.

    7. Ships built with heavy armament are past. Modern warships are not anymore used as weapon platform only. It has several other missions to participate also.

    I request the author to find out the accommodations, strength of hull to with stand torpedoes /Missiles attack, NBCD preparedness etc before coming into the conclusion. This is the invisible S in C4ISR all about.

    For Indians, the happy news is that the IN has a far stronger Surface Combat Group (Both to attack & defend).

    For Chinese, the happy news is that Chinese Navy is superior in Underwater warfare. Glad.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi there,

        Your blocking my comments is absolutely unacceptable. It seems you are not objective but only accept those comments in favor of India. If you guys keep on such tactics, your progress is limited.

        Regards Simon


      2. Hi Simon

        Many comments of yours were deviating beyond the subject in question and made little sense. Meaningful comments are always acceptable and are never blocked.


      3. Simon Lau, I don’t think, N.R.P. and Gerard are taking side of India. In fact, they are realizing your mistakes with neutral mindset.Nothing wrong in gaining knowledge and accepting mistakes. If you post sensitive comments with no logic and out of topic. Your progress is limited.


  27. U need to read and practice what you say !!!…. NONE of your comments are objective!! either they are Out of Topic or misinformed!.

    Yes, it is true that there are some readers are Indians, BUT, if you read some of the comments posted by some of us (Moi for example) is Objective and as well try to bring something new to the discussion and learn something from each other as well as this Blog

    My suggestion for you Is – Lots of research , read and then comments

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It doesn’t. It was proposed to fit them with those missiles on the sides but is not used anywhere. It is a poor-man’s system and realistically useless against modern anti-ship missiles.


  28. Amazing article. I’ve read literally every single article of yours. But this is the best by far. Simple yet technically sound and very well rounded. No bias. Which in itself is very commendable.
    Please do keep these comparison articles coming. They are very interesting.
    Also maybe an article on the scorpene class submarines India has started inducting.
    Thanks a ton and keep up the great work!


  29. While this being a detailed and well-established comparison, the author doesn’t appear to have enough knowledge about how AESA Radar (or frankly any radar) works, and how Chinese have evolved in terms of their Radar technology since the failure of Phalcon induction.
    Just a little bit of history and technological background for you:
    Following the failure of Phalcon induction from Israel back in late 1990s due to NATO pressure, the Israeli Engineers joined Chinese development teams in partly commitment to the money Chinese have already payed for the modification of Il-76s they hoped that will be converted into Phalcon-equipped AWACS platforms. These technology from Israel substantially boosted Chinese capability of ASEA design and GaAs (Gallium Arsenide) semiconductor technology, which is now ON PAR with Israeli tech.

    Now the technical part:

    The performance of an AESA radar mainly depends on the following factors:
    1. Operational frequency: Based on the same emitting power and antenna aperture, lower frequency gives you longer detection range but less spatial resolution due to longer wave length, while higher frequency gives shorter range but higher spatial resolution. Both MF-Star and Type 348 works at S-band ONLY (type 348 is NOT a dual band radar, the lower frequency detection and early warning done by type-517 radar, this vhf radar is able to partially ignore the stealth design of modern Stealth fighters, which optimized their stealth features against shorter L- X- and S-band signals, so you don’t have to question whether type 052D is capable of detecting stealth fighters more effectively. Indeed, they DO, just the resolution is not fine enough to provide guidance to semi-active SAMs). Now this part can be considered equal between these two radars.

    2. Average working power of the Radar: This determines how strong the EM wave radiation is, the stronger the radar is, of course the further it can look, just like a flash light. While both MF-STAR and type 348 used GaAs semiconductor as the major T/R(Transmitter-Reciever) units, both the Chinese and Israeli engineers have all been able to push around 5W average and 10W peak power from each one of these T/R modules. The problem being, while MF-STAR is 3m*3m in dimension, Type 348 is almost 100% larger in terms of antenna surface area, based on the fact that the Chinese was able to put 1900 T/R modules for the AESA antenna used on J-20, which is almost the same as what US was doing on their F-22s, there is no reason that we suspect their ability to put just as much juice in their naval AESAs with much larger aperture and with much better cooling options . That being said, it is safe to conclude that MF-STAR has about 60 to 70 percent of T/R module numbers compared to type 348. Based on a similar average power estimate (which is actually the truth instead of an assumption now, I can write a journal paper on this topic which I won’t do here), the MF-STAR is about 70% strong as Type 348 in terms of average working power.

    3. Aperture of the Antenna: Just like why flash lights are built small while military searchlight must use a much much larger aperture, the major dimension of the antenna dictate the detection range by limiting the extension of the main lobe of the radar signal. Larger aperture provides much better main lobe performance and minimizes energy loss due to side lobes, which are essentially wasted energy, however, large aperture do come in the price of heavier weight and of course, larger size, which is why the position of MF-STAR is on top of the main mast, while type 348 had to stay below the Bridge. Nonetheless, the above mentioned difference in terms of antenna aperture has told the story, type 348 is way better than MF-STAR in this regard.

    4. Workstation capability, or, aka processing speed: now this is the most unpredictable part, even if you have a very powerful antenna, but you have a super slow CPU, or stupid algorithm for DSP and target processing, then you cannot fully utilize the powerfullness of your AESA antenna. This is the only field that I question Chinese capability so far, despite they may have very strong target processing capability, their DSP skills might be a bottleneck cuz afaik their were still using FPGAs for signal processing a few year ago while there’s no barrier for Israelis to employ high-quality Texas Instruments DSP chips for the same purpose. The Chinese apparently was trying to bypass this shortcoming by making sure that HQ-9 is capable of Active Radar Homing.

    So in conclusion, same band+more T/R -> considerably stronger average and peak power throughput+much larger aperture=Type 348 is a clear winner. But by how much margin type 348 wins can be subject to debate. There are rumors about Type 348 actually used GaN (Gallium nitride) T/R modules instead of GaAs T/R modules in Chinese fanboy sites, which means Type 348 will have 3~5 times more average working power. I decided to not to trust those fanboys. Anyways, the general idea here is that MF-STAR is a versatile little AESA that has fancy full 360 degree coverage and multi-channel track-and-target functions, but still, due to its limitations, mainly its size, it just cannot be directly compared to Type 348, SPY-1D(yeah, despite it being passive) and AMDR.

    In fact, in my opinion (and many fellas working in Radar Industry as well) believes that despite still being inferior, Type 348 is on the same playground with AMDR in terms of performance, and don’t forget that AMDR is yet to be fitted to any combatant ships currently in service of USN as of now.

    Background: EM engineering PhD Candidate in a Major U.S. university, whose research topic involves civilian/weather radar arrays but has a lot of passion in military technology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent! Thank you so much for the information. I wasn’t aware of so many details and facts. At the time of writing the article over a year ago, my knowledge about radars was limited. Since I have a mechanical engineering background,my interest in radars came late and I’m presently learning all I can about them now. Hence i was able to understand your comment fully.

      Do you mind sending me an email at ? We could have some interesting discussions about radars. 🙂


  30. Dear N.R.P,
    Excellent article. But I was always wondering, why is that Indian navy despite having such a big ship only lightly arms the ship? I mean the present armament of the Kolkata is by no means light. But yet there is space for considerably larger armament. Case in point being the SAM which could have been more in number. Also it would have been better to have a universal VLS like what they have in Type-52D which will give Kolkata more flexibility with her assortment of missiles. Your opinion on this please.


    1. Their policy is to arm the ship to the required level and leave some space for later additions. It is always an advisable policy as new weapons arrive every decade or so. These ships are on par with global standards. If you see, even European destroyers have only 48 missile cells in total but have no space left for future additions. Kolkata with 48 total missiles is no less behind but still has space for future upgrades.

      You have to also consider the fact that many ships sacrifice a secondary radar for extra missile cells like the Arleigh Burke class. This depends on policy and war fighting strategies.


  31. Thanks N.R.P for the immediate reply. I have one more question. You have mentioned that India has opted for dedicated VLS in Kolkata class which is in direct contrast to the practice of PLAN which has universal VLS. Wouldn’t it have been better for India to have opted for Universal VLS so that there is greater flexibility with her assortment of missiles. Why do you think India did not opt for universal VLS which would have better than the present configuration?


    1. They already have UVLS. The 16 cell Brahmos launchers are UVLS which can accommodate Brahmos, Klub family and Nirbhay in future.

      SAMs haven’t been put in a UVLS as the SAMs and ASHMs originate from different nations. It is not possible to develop a common VLS for that.Since China and US make their missiles completely on their own, they can customize missile size to be packed in UVLS.

      Another reason is the size difference. BrahMos is huge and the Barak-8 is smaller. If you do make a UVLS for BrahMos and Barak-8, the Barak is too big to be quad-packed and too small to be placed individually in a bigger cell. Hence the separate VLS makes sense.


  32. I think there are far more place in Kolkata class for future addition like beside the torpedo tubes,behind the brahmos cells,front of RBU 6000 launcher and in aft deck.And in war time only the weapons are important,it is not necessary from where they came. Only there performance will important.


  33. So dear N.R.P, do you mean by “extra space” that single P15A Destroyer can accomodate 4×8=32 cell Brohmos and 8×8=64cell Barak-8ER, totalling 96cell? What about P15B Destroyers? Their max capacity is more or less?


    1. By extra space I mean 8×2 Barak-8 can be added to bring the total to 48 if needed. Otherwise another 8 cell vls for Brahmos can be added.

      P-15B destroyers will have identical armament to the P-15A.


  34. Dear NRP,
    I have one question. As you know China is moving to Type-55 class Destroyer/ Cruiser after Type- 52D. Do you think after Visakhapatinam (Project-15B), India will opt to for bigger Destroyers or will India opt to develop on the Project-15B like what America does with Burke with future variants?


    1. I feel India will stick with evolved variants of the P-15B destroyers in the future. Large cruisers are unlikely, but we never know. India may consider 10-12,000 ton cruisers and designate them destroyers. This is all speculation at present.


    1. Yes. Basically any AESA operating in the S-band can be used to guide Barak-8. It is possible to sync modern planar array radars operating in S-band as well. It can be done as Barak-8 has an active seeker and depends on the ship’s radar for initial guidance only.


      1. So even 3D Radars like the SMART-S can guide the Barak 8? Or will it have to be a multi-function radar?


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