Indian Navy for 25 new CIWS for warships

Report / Photo: SP's Special Correspondent

May 31, 2014: The Indian Navy has opened a competition to acquire 25 new 25-30mm close in weapon systems (CIWS) for its new warships, including the INS Vikramaditya. The navy has announced that it is looking for a system that includes a surveillance-cum-tracking radar, electro optical (EO) system, integrated surface to air (SAM) system and a 20-30 mm caliber gun with an integrated gun control system. The CIWS needs to be optimised for both surface and air engagement, by day and night, of low and high flying, sea skimming air targets and attack craft, boats, mines, objects floating on water surface, and other similar surface targets. Air defence of frontline vessels remains a major concern for the navy with a pronounced lack of point defence systems on many of its ships, including the INS Vikramaditya. The navy's other aircraft carrier, INS Viraat is armed with the Barak 1 anti-missile system. An integrated CIWS/SAM system throws up new possibilities for combat preparedness of the fleet, though it remains to be seen how vendors will respond. Interested vendors could include Raython (Phalanx CIWS) and Rosoboronexport (AK 630 CIWS or Kashtan CIWS), along with integrated surface to air missile systems that each vendor will need to specify in their responses to the Indian Navy's interest.