The Philippines comprises more than 7,100 islands, therefore, the country needs warships that can monitor and guard the entire archipelago. A navy frigate that is capable of defending against any foreign aggression and equally effective in the littorals as well as in the deep oceans.

Last week the Department of National Defense (DND) already awarded  the construction of two hi-tech missile-firing frigate for the Philippine Navy not to mention that the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. of India offered the lowest bid, but because Indian frigate the “Kamorta class” is an anti-submarine hunter and fully equipped with advanced, sophisticated features.

The “Kamorta Class frigate” offers the following:

  • Thrice the displacement, resulting in more space for weapons and sensors
  • Provision of hangar and helipad for an ASW helicopter
  • Advanced radars and sonars
  • Long endurance, enabling it to operate in blue water
  • Ultra quiet propulsion and engines
  • High standard builds quality

The “Kamorta class” has been designed for the sole purpose of hunting submarines. It has a displacement of 3400 tons, a length of 109 m and a beam of 13 m. These dimensions are comparable to that of a frigate as the Kamorta has been designed for blue water ops as well. The “Kamorta class” is touted by the Indian Navy as having over 90% indigenous content. The steel and composites which have been used in construction are indigenously made along with a majority of the weapons and sensors. It is powered by 4 Pielstick diesel engines generating 3888 kW each, which drive 2 controllable pitch propellers via the gearboxes. Each ship has a crew of 150 sailors and 15 officers and a very ergonomic design which focuses on crew comfort.

It has the following advanced design features which make it a suitable platform for submarine hunting.

  • X-form hull with sloped superstructure sides which reduce radar cross-section and make it very stealthy.
  • Raft mounted gearbox and engines, which damp the vibrations and reduce the acoustic signature of the ship. This is important to remain undetected from hostile submarines.
  • Range of 6500+ km at 18 knots ( 33km/hr) which allows long deployments
  • Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) propulsion for quiet and efficient running of the ship
X-form hull to deflect radar /

You can see from this that special emphasis has been laid on reducing the acoustic signature of the ship as much as possible. This is very important while it is searching for hostile submarines. The “Kamorta class” needs to detect the submarines and engage them before it itself is detected and engaged.


Revathi 3D CAR /

The”Kamorta class” is operationally deployed with an indigenously developed primary radar from India. The Revathi is a 3D radar operating in the S-band. It is a multi-role radar and is used for both surface and air search up to a distance of 200 km. It is designated as the Central Acquisition radar (CAR) as it is used to acquire aerial and surface targets before the fire control radar can direct the gunfire towards them. It will also act as a radar for the VL-Mica surface to air missiles. This missile doesn’t need a fire control radar as it has an active radar seeker in its nose which finds and locks onto targets on its own.

TMX EO Mk2 /

The TMX EO Mk2 is an X-band fire control radar with secondary electro-optical and IR sensors for targeting. 2 such radars are fitted, one at the fore and another at the aft. The one at the fore provides fire control for the 76 mm gun and the one at the aft provides fire control for the Ak-630 guns.

They have an indigenous bow mounted sonar and an Atlas Elektronik towed array sonar. The bow sonar is the primary underwater sensor and the VLF towed array is used to detect submarines hiding under thermoclines in the water. The sonar gives targeting data for the ASW rocket launcher. The embarked helicopter will have its own dunking sonar and drop sonobuoys as well.


The weapons suite  comprises of a collection of systems to attack submarines and defend itself. The following weapons are present on the “Kamorta class”.

76 mm Oto Melara Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) /

1 x 76 mm Oto Melara Super Rapid Gun Mount (SRGM) for engaging surface and aerial threats up to 16 km away.

The gun’s high rate of fire and availability of specialized ammunition makes it well-suited to varied roles such as short-range anti-missile point defense, anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and ground support. Specialized ammunition includes armor-piercing, incendiary, directed fragmentation effects, and a guided round marketed as capable of destroying maneuvering anti-ship missiles.

RBU-6000 /

2 x RBU-6000 ASW rocket launchers designated as IRL (Indigenous Rocket Launchers). Each launcher is 12 barreled and has a reload of 96 rockets under the deck. They are retained because of their hardkill ability and immunity against countermeasures. These rockets have a range of 4500 m and a shaped charge warhead which can be set to explode at a particular depth. It can punch a hole in the hull of a submarine or be used to defend against an incoming torpedo. The rocket, after it is fired, reaches the required location and falls in the water where it sinks until it reaches its target. Usually, 24 rockets with various warheads are ripple fired against the incoming target to achieve maximum kill rate.

Ak-630 CIWS /

2 x Ak 630 Gatling guns are placed above the helicopter hangar. They are the Close in Weapons System (CIWS) and are used for last-ditch defense against anti-ship missiles. This 30 mm 6-barreled gun has a rate of fire of 5000 rounds per minute and can be used to engage aerial targets at a range of 3 km and surface targets at 4 km.


533 mm torpedo tubes

533 mm torpedo tubes for launching heavyweight torpedoes. These have a maximum engagement range of around 20 km. They were designed to sink deep-diving nuclear-powered submarines and high-performance surface ships.

Space left for the installation of 16/32 VL-Mica Surface to Air Missiles. They will be procured under the category of SR-SAM.

A Kamorta Class Corvette under construction. Note the space where the SR-SAM will be installed in the future.

1 helicopter hangar for housing an ASW helicopter. The AW-159 Lynx Wildcat of Agusta Westland will be embarked on it in the future after the Philippine Navy receives it. This will be an extremely vital weapon system as the helicopter can engage submarines several hundred kilometers from the ship.


There is a widespread misconception that the “Kamorta class” is poorly armed for a 3400-ton ship. But it is very wrong to look at things like that at face value without understanding the logic and naval doctrine for behind them. The Philippine Navy needed a ship which has the armament of a 1200 ton corvette and the endurance of a 3400-ton frigate. Basically, it is not under-armed, but over-sized. It has a Surface to Air Missile package consisting of 16-32 VL-Mica missiles which have a range of 15 km and an active seeker. This missile can intercept sea-skimming and supersonic cruise missiles and protect the “Kamorta class” from submarine-launched cruise missiles.


INS_Kamorta_(3) (1)

The main role of these ships will be to hunt the quiet submarines underwater fleet like Chinese submarines which have been venturing into the West Philippine sea. There is no official information available regarding how the “Kamorta class” will be used in combat. That’s why I have presented the following ideas about what these ships will do during war and peace.


  • Philippine Strategic Sealift vessel or Philippine Navy fleet Escort

In this role, it can accompany the new Philippine Navy’s Strategic Sealift vessel and be integrated into the Philippine Navy fleet battle group. (PNFBG) It could be used as the initial detection screen where it sails 50 km ahead of the PNFBG and searches for submarines waiting to ambush the Philippine Navy fleet. It can be paired with friendly submarines and ASW aircraft like the incoming AW-159 Lynx Wildcat of Agusta Westland submarine hunter helicopter to offer superior protection to the fleet.

  • Littoral Warfare

In this role, it will basically accompany the Philippine Navy cutter, the Jacinto class corvette and other classes of missile boats which serve in the Philippine Navy during operations in shallow water. These missile boats lack any sort of ASW capability and will be totally dependent on the Kamorta’s for protection. A similar combination was used successfully by the Indian Navy in the 1971 war.

  • Surface Combatant Escort

In this role, they basically accompany a major surface combatant like Philippine Navy Strategic Sealift vessel or the Navy Cutter. Here, the “Kamorta class” will act as a mini frigate with the same ASW capabilities as the larger ship. Hence, larger ships can be saved for more important tasks.

  • Submarine Shadowing

Instead of sending a Philippine Navy Gregorio Del Pilar or the Ramon Alcaraz cutter just to shadow an enemy submarine, a “Kamorta class” does the job. If in the near future the Philippine Navy acquired a larger ship and a destroyer it will be more economical than sending a “Kamorta class” to do more important tasks.

It can be used in peace and war to trail hostile submarines and destroy them if needed. These ships will be networked with ASW aircraft for more efficient tracking and detection of submarines.

INS Kamorta in China during a naval exercise ©Liuwangne


The Philippine Navy “Kamorta class” are future proof and will remain as front line warships for several decades. These ships will be vital for patrolling Philippine sovereign territory as well as the West Philippine Sea and International waters and keeping shipping lanes free from hostile submarines. Constant upgrades in the future will keep them in top fighting condition and will give headache to hostile submarines. – Jason E.



    • Are you challenging the Quality of “Make in India”? lol . The country that sends Space Probes to Mars ?

      • The rocket that sent probe to Mars was Russian made and 90% of the weapons on the Karmota are imported, including the 76cm main gun from Italy, AK630, deep charge rockets and torpedo are from Russia, engine from Ukraine, radar from Iseral, helicopter from US, antiair missilles from iseral. Based on the high costs of assembling foreign components to big a frigate of less power, Philippines will unlikely place the order to acquire such weak warship.

        • Thank God you didn’t claim Indians are also mixed breed Russian,Israeli,French. Having a good laugh !
          Do you even know the difference between a corvette, frigate and a destroyer my dea sir?

    • there are bad and good. they built something. the last time I checked that is better than us building nothing. siguro sa mga pipitsuging products, pwede mo talagang masabing low quality, like butas agad ang pantalon, sira agad sapatos, pero sa mga products like these na meron inspection, testing at warrantees, etc. hindi naman siguro ganun ka sama ang quality.

      • correctly said bro, mas marami yan sa made in china kahit anong product wala kang maasahan, yun iba pumuputok na lang, disgrasya, how much more sa military hardware, para lang natin pinukpok ang sarili natin. i’l better go sa kamorta me clause naman na we can copy their tech, at sa susunod tayo na ang gagawa marami tayong engineers na mas mahuhusay at mas marami din tayo resources nasa paligid lang natin unlike sa ibang bansa mas lalo na ang china na magnanakaw!

  1. What would be interesting is that there is a provision that Philippine can build this frigate in our docks (aside from the two that is gonna be built by India)..transfer of technology is a good thing.
    The South Korean designed frigate would have been ideal, but I guess the cost played a big consideration for it.

  2. much better if tayo na lng mag manufacture …marami nmang natural resources sa bansa natin.

    • in the future yes, for now, wala ng time, kelangan na bumili para meron din model for our future manufacturing.

  3. The question is, how many countries have opted to buy and use these frigates? Besides the historical record, the after sales service and transfer of technology must be heavily weighed in coming up with the decison of the DND’s BAC! Hope these people made their decision based on the most important thing, that is love for our country and people. Good luck!

    • indian navy has ordered 8 of these frigate for domestic usage

      kamorta class is top notch product of india mixing israeli indian french russian & ukrainean best technologies at this best price

      • Sometimes,mandatory comes with another word, mandatory commission! Just like “for official use also”

  4. Much better if the NAVY chooses NAVANTIA LF 4000.Standard Hull and Navigation systems.kahit na mahal guaranteed naman sa Quality.

    • yes yes yes…. navatian 2400 or lf-400 is highly modular and it is the most capable frigate in the bid.. omg .. its specification is far from others. These are the weapons
      ·Guns: – 1 x 76 mm Super rapis( from otomelara0
      – 1 x RAM (rolling air frame missile) 21 roounds in a launcher
      – 2 x 12.7 mm (hitrole remote weapon system)
      – 2 x 35 mm ( oerlikon millenium ciws )
      ·Fire Control System: – 1 x Radar
      – 1 x EO
      ·Vertical Launching System: 16 cells( mk41 capable of launching essm missile quad pack meaning 32 SAMS. range 50 km ) btw mk41 vls is almost compatible with any current vls missile in USA invetory)
      ·SSM Launchers: 2 x Quad( exocet more likey but i prefer NSM or jsm )
      ·Torpedoes: 2 x Triple Torpedo Launchers (mu90??)
      ·Decoys: 2 x (RF/IF/acustic) Launchers
      more info here:
      …………. btw this ship is modular it can be degrated to meet the cost… it is far more better than kamorta in terms of sensors and weapons. well 5 ships for peruvian navy has been offered meaning it was really unique

      • Philippine Navy has ordered only 2 of these. Kamorta is a designated submarine hunter dedicated towards Chinese submarines. It’s a corvette, so dont compare it with frigates. Indian navy is smaller than Chinese navy but more skilled than the Chinese counterpart. Indian Shivalik and Talwar class frigates are admired worldwide.

        • youa re same guys i am talking about.. wait i’ll copy paste so u will see what the philippine navy requires.we are in purchase of a frigate not a corvette so i would and i will really compare. The Philippine navy is not looking for anti-submarine frigate instead air warfare frigate whilst the Philippine navy is looking for corvette designated for anti-submarine warfare.And if you will read more specifications GRSE is offering a frigate specification of the CLASS of this ship. Furthermore the desired force mix of the philippine navy requires 4 air warfare FRIGATE and 8 anti submarine CORVETTE. Morever, defense research and analyst shows that kamorta class CORVETTE is not underarmed rather it is oversized for its role

  5. well wrong decision. this is the worst choice ever ..philippine should just government to governmetn negotation like the fa-50 to purchase the lf-4000 of navation… lf-4000 is better in every aspect you could identify compared to kamorta.. i word komarta is the worst in all frigate in offer.. remember higher technology comes in higher price so dont always search for the lowest price for the best… kuripot kasi tayo kung maipagtangol nyo kung bakit kamorta napili wagas.. worst choice

    • Philippine Navy has ordered only 2 of these. Kamorta is a designated submarine hunter dedicated towards Chinese submarines. It’s a corvette, so dont compare it with frigates. Indian navy is smaller than Chinese navy but more skilled than the Chinese counterpart.

      • we are in purchase of a frigate not a corvette so i would and i will really compare. The Philippine navy is not looking for anti-submarine frigate instead air warfare frigate whilst the Philippine navy is looking for corvette designated for anti-submarine warfare.And if you will read more specifications GRSE is offering a frigate specification of the CLASS of this ship. Furthermore the desired force mix of the philippine navy requires 4 air warfare FRIGATE and 8 anti submarine CORVETTE. Morever, defense research and analyst shows that kamorta class CORVETTE is not underarmed rather it is oversized for its role

  6. Karmorta can be fitted in with the Bhramos 2 missile- the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile for surface to surface attack and deterrence against the most modern Chinese ship.

  7. in the current situation, Phil needs the action ready ships that are available like the maestral class frigates while waiting the delivery of the brand news…

  8. How does the kamorta destroy a hostile vessel? They can’t launch antiship missiles if they don’t have any. Are they assuming that all hostile vessels will be submarines? Will the Oto melara 76mm auto cannon be enough? What if they see another hostile frigate? Do they have provisions for antiship missiles?

  9. I think the only lacking of Kamorta class frigate or corvette is the anti-surface warfare capability to engage hostile surface warships. If Harpoon missile system or any equivalent is included in the package it might be better. In addition, DND must upgrade the Gregorio del Pilar class frigates and Emilio Jacinto class corvettes armaments by employing Harpoon and RAM systems for Anti-surface warfare and Torpedo and ASROC for Anti-submarine warfare in order to boost our naval force. We are the only ASEAN member whose naval ships have no missile capability. Look at Indonesian Navy when they capture Chinese intruders in their EEZ at Natuna Island, Chinese Navy hesitated to do harsh action because Indonesian Navy ships have the capability to engage. That’s why our navy needed ships (frigates, corvettes, patrol boats) so badly that has missile capability. Wrap up: 2 Kamorta Class Frigates, 3 Gregorio del Pilar Class Frigates, 1 Pohang Class Corvette and 3 Emilio Jacinto Class Corvettes. So, if all of these warships I mentioned have missile capability to engage both surface and submarine treats, no doubt China little by little will soften their stance on WPS.

  10. Nakamote na ang GRSE. Hyundai won the bid. Awarding is in 10 days. Saw the letter from DND. Incehon class is now at hand.

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