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  Marine Musketeers
  India Navy gearing up for air-sea battles

Scorpene SSK                  
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Subject to the present-day momentum being maintained in the area of shipbuilding, the Indian Navy (IN) by 2020 can be expected to field no less than two aircraft carrier-based battle groups, two helicopter platform docks (LPHs) along with 12 air-cushion vehicles, along with up to 19 guided-missile frigates (FFG), 10 guided-missile destroyers (DDG), up to 18 guided-missile corvettes, 12 advanced offshore patrol vessels, 12 diesel-electric submarines, two SLBM-equipped nuclear-powered SSBNs and another two hunter-killer SSGNs, and a fleet air arm equipped with about 60 shipborne helicopters, about 50 carrier-based medium multi-role combat aircraft, 12 shore-based long-range maritime reconnaissance/ASW aircraft, six medium-range maritime recce/ASW aircraft, plus a dedicated fleet communications satellite, this being the GSAT-7, due for launch next year.
 
 
The GSAT-7 (INSAT-4F) will be a multi-band satellite carrying payloads in UHF, S-band, C-band and Ku-band. The satellite will weigh 2,330kg with a payload power of 2,000W.
India’s Cabinet Committee on National Security (CCNS) in early October finally approved the ministry of defence’s (MoD) proposal for kick-starting the Project 17A guided-missile frigate’s (FFG) design-cum-construction programme, which is already running four years behind schedule. Consequently, the MoD-owned and Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks Ltd (MDL), teamed with Fincantieri, has at long-last, received both the green light and the much-required funds required for commencing work on the programme, which now calls for the Project 17A FFG to be an advanced derivative of the existing 5,600-tonne Project 17 Shivalik-class FFG (three of which are being procured), and not a brand-new warship design outsourced from abroad.
 
 
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