Indian Navy

From Academic Kids

The Indian Navy (Hindi: Bharatiya Nau Sena) is one of the world's largest navies. The navy was established by the British when India was a colony. The Indian Navy presently has one aircraft carrier and many destroyers, submarines and frigates. Although India does not have any nuclear submarines it strives to make its navy as stealthy as possible.
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Indian Naval Ensign

Current fleet of Indian Navy

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Patrol craft INS Sukanya (P 50) taken from USA's guided missile frigate USS Curts (FFG 38).
The fleet of the Indian Navy is a mix of indegenously built vessels and ships sourced from other nations. Though the quality of the ships built in India are of world standards, the efficiency of producing required numbers is below par.

India's navy is entering a period of expansion, particularly in carrier aviation. The current carrier, INS Viraat (formerly HMS Hermes), will be retired by the end of the decade. After ten years of negotiations the Indian government announced in January 2004 that they are to acquire the former Soviet carrier, the Kiev Class ship, Admiral Gorshkov (it will be called INS Vikramaditya). This 45,000 tonne vessel will be equipped with 16 Mig-29Ks and India has options on 30 more. This would seem to mark the end of the BAE Sea Harrier's role in the Indian Navy, 23 of which remain in service.

Aircraft Carriers

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INS Viraat during a Intl. Fleet Review . It is the only aircraft carrier east of Suez .It gives the Indian Navy an edge over other Asian Navies (FFG 38).
  • INS Viraat
  • Former Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (refit) (Maybe called INS Vikramaditya)
  • Indigenous Air Defence Ship (projected)

Guided Missile Destroyers

Guided Missile Frigates

Guided Missile Corvettes


Diesel Powered Submarines

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INS Sindhuvir is India's prime submarine for the Eastern Command.
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Soviet aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov is expected to be inducted by 2008 to meet India's naval aspirations(FFG 38).

A total of ten diesel-powered 'Project 877' submarines, known in India as the EKM or Sindhu class, have been built under a contract between Rosvooruzhenie and the Indian Defense Ministry, with the tenth unit delivered to India in 2000. This final unit was the first to be equipped with the Klab ZM-54E [SS-N-27] antiship cruise missiles with a range of 220 km. The first Kilo-class submarines of project 877 were built in the USSR in 1979. They have a displacement of 3,000 tonnes, a maximum diving depth of 300 meters, speed of up to 18 knots, and are able to operate solo for 45 days with a crew of 53. These submarines have been criticized in India as being highly underpowered for a conventional boat.

India has a number of foreign-produced cruise missile systems in its arsenal, to include Klub(SS-N-27). It also has some indigenous cruise missile systems under development, including the Sagarika and Lakshya variants. The Sagarika (Oceanic) began development in 1994 as a submarine-launched cruise missile (SLCM) which will have a range of at least 300 km (a few claim 1000 km); it is projected for deployment around 2005.

Nuclear Powered Submarines

In January 1988 India leased for three years a Soviet nuclear powered attack submarine of the 670A Skat series (CHARLIE class by NATO classification) with eight Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright) anti-ship missile launchers. In the Indian Navy the ship was called Chakra, and the submarine was manned by a Russian crew training Indian seamen to operate it. Upon expiration of the ship leasing term in 1991, the submarine was returned to Russia and decommissioned from the Russian Navy.

India has been working since 1985 to develop an indigenously constructed nuclear-powered submarine, one that is based on the Soviet Charlie II-class design, detailed drawings of which are said to have been obtained from the Soviet Union in 1989. This project illustrates India's industrial capabilities and weaknesses. The secretive Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project to provide nuclear propulsion for Indian submarines has been one of the more ill-managed projects of India. Although India has the capability of building the hull and developing or acquiring the necessary sensors, its industry has been stymied by several system integration and fabrication problems in trying to downsize a 190 MW pressurized water reactor (PWR) to fit into the space available within the submarine's hull. The Proto-type Testing Centre (PTC) at the Indira Gandhi Centre For Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, will be used to test the submarine's turbines and propellers. A similar facility is operational at Vishakapatnam to test the main turbines and gear box.

According to some accounts India plans to have as many as five nuclear submarines capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads. The Indian nuclear powered attack submarine design is said to have a 4,000-ton displacement and a single-shaft nuclear power plant of Indian origin. Once the vessel is completed, it may be equipped with Danush/Sagarika cruise missiles and an advanced sonar system. However, according to some analysts the most probable missile for the Indian submarine would be the Yahont anti-ship cruise missile designed by NPO Mashinostroyeni

History of the Indian Navy

Main article: History of the Indian Navy

The British East India Company had some ships from 1612, protecting merchant shipping and fighting the French and Dutch navies, going through various name changes.

In 1934 the Royal Indian Marine was reorganised into the Royal Indian Navy (RIN). At the start of the Second World War it was very small and had eight warships, though this increased during the war.

India gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, though senior officers were initially drawn from the Royal Navy. The "Royal" part of the name was initially kept as George VI remained head of state but dropped on 26 January 1950 when India became a republic.

Major Conflicts

The Navy has been involved in 2 wars with Pakistan. While the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 largely involved patrolling of the coast, India's navy played a role in the bombing of Karachi harbour in the 1971 war. The name given to the attack was Operation Trident. It proved to be successful and was followed by Operation Python.

INS Rajput was instrumental in sinking Pakistan's premier submarine PNS Ghazi which posed a significant threat in the Bay of Bengal, while INS Nirghat and Nipat sunk a destroyer each and INS veer accounting for a minesweeper. The naval aircrafts Sea Hawks and Alize' were also instrumental in sinking many gunboats and merchant navy vessels. There was one major casuality in the frigate INS Khukri (sunk by PNS Hangor) with another vessel INS Kirpan damaged in the western sector, but on the eastern front the opposing Pakistan Navy took a severe beating. The blockade of East Pakistan port with major naval presence proved to be a vital link in the war. Ultimately it was a series of decisive operations in which the Indian Navy proved its superiority by routing its counterpart.

Indian Navy losses Pakistan Navy losses
Destroyers 0 </sup> 2, PNS Khaibar and Shahjahan*(damaged)
Frigates 1, INS Khukri** 0
Submarines 0 1, PNS Ghazi
Minesweeper 0 1, PNS Muhafiz
Navy Aircraft 1, (Alize) 0
Patrol boats and Gunboats 0 7 Gunboats and 3 patrol boats
Merchant navy and others 0 11 (including one US ammunition ship)

*PNS Shahjahan was presumably damaged beyond repair. **The second frigate INS Kirpan was damaged although it remained in service later on after salvaging it.

Command and Personnel

The Indian Navy is organised into three regional commands

Each of the three Naval Commands has a Flag Officer Commanding in Chief. The commander of the Navy is the Chief of the Naval Staff.

Recently the Indian Navy received a huge boost when INS Kadamba was commissioned at Karwar, 100 Km from Goa. This is the third operational naval base after Mumbai and Vishakapatnam and the first to be controlled exclusively by the Indian navy. It is being described by naval pundits as the largest such base "east of the Suez". Called Project Seabird it is a multi-billion dollar plan to create an exclusive naval port with full facilities. It is currently in Phase I.

The Indian Navy is divided into the following broad categories

  • Administration
  • Logistics and Material
  • Training
  • The Fleets
  • The Naval Aviation
  • The Submarine Arm

See also

External link


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