New Delhi: The Indian Navy is all set to acquire its first 127 mm guns that will be fitted on board 11 under-construction destroyers and frigates.
The guns are expected to bolster the force as they are an upgrade from the 100mm artillery that the Navy currently uses.
While some may wonder why the Navy actually needs guns in this day and age of missiles, the guns actually play an important role in naval ships and are integral to the force’s artillery.
Importance of naval guns
Every military vessel in the world, including the aircraft carriers, are equipped with different types of guns. Except for the 30 mm Close in Weapon System (CIWS), all these guns form part of naval artillery.
The missiles and torpedoes on board the vessels are not part of the naval artillery. The biggest advantage of a naval gun is that it is cheaper than firing a missile. Besides this, there are a number of tasks and operations that only naval guns can carry out.
The gun plays a dual role as they are both anti-surface and anti-air weapons. This means they can take on the vessels in the sea or targets on shore as well as incoming enemy aircraft.
Besides this, the guns are very useful for area domination or taking out a fast patrol vessel advancing towards the ship. The guns are also used for sending out warnings as well as taking out smaller ships out in the sea.
Other than obvious anti-aircraft task, they are also used in what is known as naval gunfire support or breaching operations. These guns are used to help the military in carrying out landing or amphibious operations on the shore.
The idea is to cause heavy damage to enemy positions and assets without causing such huge damage that one’s own soldiers can’t operate there.
Different types of guns on board Indian Navy ships
Depending on the category of ships, each vessel comes equipped with different types of guns. The common element on all the ships are the CIWS. These are meant to take out closer threats.
There are also the medium range guns which are of 76 mm and 100 mm calibre. These guns are capable of taking out smaller vessels or disabling them.
Interestingly, India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is equipped only with the CIWS. But then, it moves with a Battle Group that consists of different ships and a submarine.