Stealth Technology Current Affairs - 2019
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Indigenously-built anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette INS Kiltan was commissioned an into the Indian Navy at the Eastern Naval Command (Naval Dockyard) in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
It is India’s first major warship to have a superstructure of carbon fibre composite material resulting in improved stealth features, lower top weight and maintenance costs. About 81% of the ship is indigenous and it is well equipped to fight in Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare conditions.
INS Kiltan is third of four Kamorta-class corvettes being built under Project 28. It is latest indigenous warship after Shivalik Class, Kolkata Class and sister ships INS Kamorta and INS Kadmatt of Indian Navy’s arsenal. It is also first major warship to have undertaken sea trials of all major weapons and sensors as a pilot project.
The stealth corvette derives its name from one of islands in Aminidivi group of strategically located Lakshadweep and Minicoy group of islands. It has been designed indigenously by Indian Navy’s in-house body Directorate of Naval Design under Project 28 (Kamorta Class).
Features: It is 109 meters in length and 14 meters at beam and is propelled by four diesel engines to achieve speeds in excess of 25 knots with an endurance of 3450 nautical miles. It has displacement capacity of 3500 tonnes and has installed propulsion and auxiliary systems that provides very low radiated underwater noise feature, required for anti-submarine warfare.
Stealth features: Enhanced stealth features of the ship have been achieved by ‘X’ form of Hull, full beam superstructure, inclined ship sides and use of InfraRed Signature Suppression (IRSS) system designed by NSTL for cooling the Engine and Generator exhausts.
Weapons and Sensors suite: The ship hosts predominantly indigenous cutting-edge weapons and sensors suite which includes heavyweight torpedoes, ASW rockets, missile decoy rockets (Chaff), advanced Electronic Support Measure system, 76 mm calibre Medium Range gun and two multi-barrel 30 mm guns as close-in-weapon system (CIWS) with dedicated fire control systems, most advanced bow mounted sonar and air surveillance radar Revathi. In future, it will be installed with short range SAM system and carry an integral ASW helicopter.
Historical Legacy: The ship also boasts of proud legacy of the erstwhile Petya Class ship of same name ‘Kiltan (P79)’ built in the USSR which had actively participated as Task Force Commander in ‘Operation Trident’ during 1971 India-Pakistan war.
China has successfully tested the latest version of its fifth-generation stealth fighter jet J-31 (now renamed the FC-31 Gyrfalcon).
The newest version of twin-engine FC-31 took to the air for the first time recently. It is considered as China’s answer to the US F-35, the world’s most technically advanced fighter.
- The newest FC-31 has better stealth capabilities, improved electronic equipment and a larger payload capacity than the previous version which debuted in October 2012
- It is manufactured by Shenyang Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC).
- FC-31 has a maximum take-off weight of 28 metric tons, flight radius of 1,250 km, and top speed of Mach 1.8 (i.e. 1.8 times the speed of sound).
- It can easily carry 8 tons of weapons, hold six missiles in its internal weapons bay, plus another six under its wings.
- It also has been equipped with an electro-optical targeting system and helmet-mounted display. Some analysts say the FC-31 bears a close resemblance to the US’s F-35.
China by introducing this fighter jet is trying to end the West’s monopoly on the world’s most advanced warplanes especially 5th generation fighter jet. When completed, the FC-31 will become the China’s second 5th-generation fighter after the J-20, which was put on its first public performance at the Zhuhai Air Show in November 2016.