Indian Navy is the fastest growing force of the tri-services in terms of new & upgraded machinery and with many vessels inducted, it had made a mark in 2016. ‘Make in India’ has also given a boost to the cause.
Let’s look back and have a review of the vessels inducted into the Indian Navy:
- Kamov Ka-226T: At the India-Russia summit held in Goa on 17 October 2016, the two nations announced the signing of the shareholders’ agreement for the joint venture of the Ka-226T helicopters in India. The joint venture is between Russia-based Rosoboron export, Russian Helicopters and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to jointly produce 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters. This will go a long way in strengthening the Air Anti-Submarine Warfare capability of the Navy.
- INS Marmugao: The second ship of Project-15B, the indigenous Guided Missile Destroyer, christened INS Marmugao was launched on 17 September 2016 at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL), Mumbai. With a launch weight of 2844 tonnes, the vessel was launched by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Sunil Lanba.
- INS Chennai: Under Project-15A the indigenous Guided Missile Destroyer, INS Chennai was commissioned into the Indian Navy by the Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar on 21 November 2016 at the Naval Dockyard Mumbai. The event marks the formal induction into the Navy of the third and last of the three ‘Kolkata’ class destroyers, indigenously developed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by the MDL.
- INS Kadamatt: the second ship of Project-28, class Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvette was commissioned at Naval Dockyard Vishakapatnam on 7 January 2016. The ship designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation Directorate of Naval Design has been constructed by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata.
- INS Tarmugli: The high manoeuvrable fast attack craft INS Tarmugli was commissioned into the Indian Navy by FoC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command on 23 May 2016 at Naval Dockyard Visakhapatnam. Placed under the Naval Officer-in-Charge, Andhra Pradesh, the ship has been deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East coast of India.
- LCU L-56 (Yard 2097): The sixth vessel of the series of eight Landing Craft Utility (LCU) Ships designed and built by GRSE Ltd, Kolkata for the Navy was launched on 12 March 2016. The ship can be deployed for multi-role activities such as beaching operations, Humanitarian and Disaster Relief operations and evacuation from distant islands. The first ship of the class ‘LCU-L51’ was launched on 12 March 2014 and is now undergoing sea trials at GRSE.
- LCU L-57 (Yard 2098): The seventh ship of Landing Craft Utility (LCU) MK IV project, was launched on 24 November 2016 at an impressive ceremony at GRSE, Kolkata. A month later, LCU L-58 was also launched.
- INS Karna: The Marine Commando base at Visakhapatnam was commissioned by the CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba at Bheemunipatnam on 12 July 2016. The marine commando force also called Marcos was raised in February 1987 as the Indian Marine Special Force. It is capable of operating in all three dimensions at sea, air and on land.
The year also saw the de-induction of various vessels:
- De-induction of Sea Harrier and induction of MiG-29K: The illustrious and unique Sea Harriers of the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS 300) were given a farewell at INS Hansa, Goa on 11 May 2016. The function was attended by the erstwhile CNS Admiral RK Dhowan and Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba. On this occasion, the MiG-29K Squadron was seamlessly integrated into the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
- To enhance its Blue Water capability, the Indian Navy opted to strengthen its submarine arm for which Request For Proposal (RFP) to acquire six more conventional submarines under Project 75(I) was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). The project will cost around Rs. 80,000 crores. Under this programme, six conventional submarines are planned to be built in India with foreign collaboration. Under this INS Kalvari, the first of the Scorpene class submarine being built at the Mazagon Docks Shipbuilders Ltd, Mumbai, went for sea trial for the first time on 1 May 2016. A number of preliminary tests on the propulsion systems, auxiliary equipment and systems, navigation aids, communication equipment and steering gear were conducted during the trials. Various Standard Operating Procedures were also validated for this new class of submarines during the trial.