INS Vikrant

The Indian Navy's first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant R11, at her commissioning on 16 February 1961. Hero of the 1971 Indo-Pak war, she was the pride and flagship of the Indian Navy. Image © Indian NavyINS Vikrant steams out of Malta on its way to Bombay in 1961. Ship's personnel and her complement of Sea Hawk aircraft are neatly lined up on deck. Image © Vayu Aerospace Review via Pawan KaulThe Vikrant out at sea - circa early 1990s. During this period, the Vikrant rarely left port due to her old age. Notice the pair of Bréguet Alizés and a single Sea King Mk.42 helicopter. Image © Indian NavyA line drawing of the Vikrant.

Vessel Type: Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier. (Majestic Class)

Name & Pennant Number: Vikrant (R11).

Laid Down: 12 October 1943.

Launched: 22 September 1945.

Commission Date: 04 March 1961. Laid up till purchased by India in January 1957.

Decommission Date: 31 January 1997.

Displacement: 16,000 tons standard.
...................19,500 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 700 feet.
................Beam - 128 feet.
................Draught - 24 feet.

Main Machinery: Parsons geared turbines providing 40,000 shp, 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers and 2 shafts.

Maximum Speed: 25 knots.

Maximum Range: 12,000 miles at 14 knots.
.......................6200 miles at 23 knots.

Complement: 1110 (including air group).

Radar: Not Known.

Weapons: Not Known.

Comments: Hercules was the fifth ship in a series of six Majestic Class aircraft carriers (Majestic, Terrible, Magnificent, Powerful, Hercules and Leviathan) built for the Royal Navy during the World War II. A class of quick-build carriers, they were intended to challenge German and Japanese navies around the world. Ironically none of them ever served in the Royal Navy. The war ended and work on all six vessels were stopped. Two each were bought by the Canadian and the Australian navies. The fifth, the Hercules, was bought by the Indian Navy and renamed the Vikrant. The sixth, named the Leviathan, was scrapped. Built by Vickers Armstrong in Newcastle, she was laid down on 12 October 1943 and launched on 22 September 1945.

Work on the vessel was suspended in May 1946 when almost 75% of the vessel was fitted out. The Hercules was laid up for 10 years - kept in a state of preservation by the British Admiralty - before being purchased by the Indian Navy in January 1957. The Hercules underwent a four year refit at the Harland & Wolff Yard in Belfast, Ireland. She was completed along similar lines to the HMCS Bonaventure (the ex-Powerful), another Majestic Class light aircraft carrier, with an angled deck, steam catapult and landing mirrors which were all Post-WWII developments for operating jet aircraft. The carrier was formally commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Vikrant on 04 March 1961 at Belfast by the then Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Vijayalakshmi Pandit.

Captain Pritam Singh was the first commanding officer of the Vikrant. The carrier had her initial trials in the waters around the UK. The trials were followed by a six-week work-up programme which was carried out in the Mediterranean Sea. The main aim of the work-up which, concluded in early October 1961, was to test the carrier's all-round efficiency as a fully operational unit. On 18 May 1961, the landing and arresting of the first jet aircraft on board took place. The honour of performing this feat went to Lieutenant (later Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff) R H Tahiliani. The carrier formally joined the Indian Naval fleet at Bombay on 03 November 1961, where it was received at Ballard Pier by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and other high-ranking dignitaries.

Till the 1971 Indo-Pak War, the Vikrant had rarely fired a gun in anger. During the Indo-China conflict in 1962, there was talk of sending the Vikrant-based Seahawk jet aircraft to the north to operate from airfields in Assam. A squadron was in fact developed for a few weeks, however political decisions deemed otherwise. During 1965, the Vikrant found itself under refit in the dry dock, though the Pakistanis, in the heat of battle, claimed that they had sunk it. The Sea Hawks were sent to Jamnagar and just as they were being primed for a night raid on Karachi, they were recalled for the defence of Bombay. However, the Vikrant's finest hour came in December 1971 when it played a pivotal role in the Liberation of Bangladesh in spite of a crack in its boiler.

Taking into account the threats and the strategic requirements, the Vikrant was assigned to the eastern theatre in the Bay of Bengal in 1971. She joined the newly created Eastern Fleet with Rear Admiral S H Sharma flying his flag on the ship. The Indian Navy did its part to fool the enemy, transmitting confusing radio signals. Though Vikrant was anchored in the Andamans, an Indian destroyer off Visakhaptnam sent signals that there was a ship in the area carrying 200 tonnes of meat, which only an aircraft carrier could store. She was considered such a prized catch by the Pakistan Navy that they sent their submarine, the Ghazi, all the way to the Bay of Bengal to drop mines outside Visakhapatnam harbour and sink the aircraft carrier off the harbour. The Pakistani submarine Ghazi blew up on 04 December 1971, after a depth charge attack by INS Rajput off the harbour entrance.

After the sinking of the Ghazi, the Vikrant then cordoned off and every port in the erstwhile East Pakistan -- Cox's Bazar, Chittagong, and Khulna -- was pounded by the Sea Hawks based on the Vikrant. Such was the impact of the air attack from Sea Hawks, that the Pakistani Naval commander in the then East Pakistan remarked, "Indian naval aircraft were hitting us day and night. We could not run." On one occasion, with aircraft airborne and no wind conditions, the ship had to take a chance with her cracked boilers to land the returning flights. This was easily the carrier's best of the finest hour. Such was the performance of the ship in the liberation of Bangladesh that it earned two Maha Vir Chakras and 12 Vir Chakras.

Everyone loves a hero. The Vikrant received a tumultuous welcome when she returned to Madras. The civil administration led by then Chief Minister M G Ramachandran, organised a special meal for the entire crew of 1100, served on banana leaves, on the jetty. That the ship was the darling of Madras and was adopted by the city goes without saying. When it came to showing the flag, there has been no ship like the Vikrant. Once, when the carrier was berthed at Bandar Abbas, the Shah of Iran flew the officers to Teheran for a special concert. In West Asia, where the only aircraft carrier people had seen were from the United States, they were surprised to see that an Asian navy could also fight a three-dimensional war.

About four decades is long time for a carrier and the last years were not trouble free for the Vikrant. The carrier was troubled by structural and mechanical problems. Yet the ship had one more achievement, when she received the Navy's first Sea Harrier VSTOL jump jet on board. She underwent a refit from 1979-82 to handle Sea Harriers off her flight deck. This however meant the end of carrier flying for the Alizes. The Vikrant was decommissioned on 31 January 1997 after 36 glorious years of service in the Indian Navy. She steamed 499,066 nautical miles, the equivalent of 15 times around the world. The carrier is currently subject to a campaign to preserve her for posterity - the only wartime constructed British aircraft carrier to be under possible preservation.

INS Matanga

INS Matanga at IFR 2001. She lies docked alongside a water tanker. Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarINS Matanga. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar 

Vessel Type: Ocean Tug.

Name & Pennant Number with commission dates:
INS Matanga A53; Laid Down - mid-70s, Launched - 29 October 1977, Commissioned - 02 April 1983.

Displacement: 1334 tons.

Dimensions: Length - 67.8 metres.
.................Beam - 12.3 metres.
.................Draft - 4 metres.

Maximum Speed: 15 knots.

Maximum Range: 4000 nautical miles.

Complement: 75 including 6 officers.

Weapons: Not Known.

Comments: INS Matanga, built and commissioned at Garden Reach Shipyard in Calcutta, can assist in diving operations and carries a RCC (Recompression Chamber), carry out salvage operations, conduct firefighting and render a limited amount of submarine rescue services.

INS Krishna

Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar

Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar

A shot of INS Krishna, taken from above. Image © Warships International Fleet Review, Winter '99 Issue


Vessel Type: Training Ship.

Name & Pennant Number with commission date:
INS Krishna F46 (22 August 1995)

Displacement: 2960 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two boilers with 550 psi, two turbines with 30,000 hp and two shafts.

Maximum Speed: 28 knots.

Maximum Range: 4000 at 15 knots

Complement: 260 (incl. 19 officers).

Weapons: Two Oerlikon 20mm guns.
..............Two Bofors 40mm guns (aft of funnel).

Radars: Air/Surface; One Marconi Type 968 radar at D/E-band frequency.
...........Navigation; One Kevin Hughes Type 1006 radar at I-band frequency.

Helicopters: Platform for one HAL Chetak.

Comments: Acquired for training purposes to supplement INS Tir. The vessel was originally commissioned in the Royal Navy on 02 December 1968 as HMS Andromeda F57. The Indian Navy acquired the vessel from the United Kingdom in April 1995 having paid off in June 1993 to an extended state of readiness. It was re-commissioned into the Indian Navy after being refitted by DML, Davenport in the United Kingdom. The armament has been reduced to the minimum for the training role. Based at Kochi.


Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar

The training ship Tir, enters the water for the first time, during her launch at Cochin SY. Image © MoD Annual Report, 1985-86 via Titash Sridharan

A spectacular bow shot of INS Tir at the International Fleet Review 2001. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar

A detailed shot of INS Tir. Note the helo-landing assist system to the upper left of the picture and the armed sentry in the centre. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar

An excellent shot of INS Tir, taken from astern. Location Unknown. Image © H&L Van Ginderen


Vessel Type: Training Ship.

Name & Pennant Number with commission date:
INS Tir A86 (21 February 1986)

Displacement: 3200 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesel engines with 7072 hp sustained and two shafts.

Maximum Speed: 18 knots.

Maximum Range: 6000 at 12 knots.

Complement: 293 (incl. 35 officers) + 120 cadets.

Radar: Navigation; One Bharat/Racal Decca 1245 radar at I-band frequency.

Weapons: 2 Bofors 40mm/60 (twin) guns with launchers for illuminants and four saluting guns.

Countermeasures: ESM; One Telegon IV system at D/F-band frequency.

Helicopters: Platform for one HAL Chetak.

Comments: INS Tir is the first dedicated Cadet's Training Ship designed by the Indian Navy and constructed by Mazagon Dock Ltd., Mumbai. She is the senior ship of the First Training Squadron of the Indian Navy. The Ship's Crest has an eagle with an arrow; the eagle depicts majesty and might, while the arrow (in Hindi called Tir) signifies pursuit of professional competence. The vessel has been built to commercial standards. Has Decca collision avoidance plot and also a SATNAV (Satellite Navigation) system. Can carry up to 120 cadets and 20 instructors. A second vessel was ordered in May 1986, but may have been cancelled as an economy measure. Based at Kochi.

INS Jyothi

INS Jyoti lies docked next to INS Mysore at the Yokosuka naval base in Japan. Circa April 2007. Image © Ashok SINS Jyoti lies docked at the Yokosuka naval base in Japan. Circa April 2007. Image © Ashok SINS Jyoti A58. Image © Indian NavyINS Jyoti provides replenishment on the high seas, to INS Mumbai and another vessel which cannot be seen in the image. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil ChandniA black & white shot of INS Jyoti, taken from the bow. Image © M. Fabre

Vessel Type: Replenishment Tanker.

Name & Pennant Number with commission date:
INS Jyoti A58 (20 July 1996)

Displacement: 35,900 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length; 178 meters.
.................Beam; 25 meters.
.................Draught; Not Known.

Main Machinery: Two boilers, one steam turbine with 10,948 hp and 1 shaft.

Maximum Speed: 15 knots.

Maximum Range: 12,000 miles at 15 knots.

Complement: 92 (incl. 16 officers).

Cargo Capacity: 25,040 tons diesel.

Radar: Navigation; Two Decca 1226 radars at I-band frequency.

Weapons: Guns may be fitted in due course.

Helicopters: Platform for one medium helicopter.

Comments: This was the third of the Komandarm Fedko Class of merchant tankers, modified for naval use for the IN and acquired in 1995. The ship was laid down in September 1993. Based in Bombay where it arrived in November 1996. The vessel may be fitted with armament in due course. There are two replenishment positions on each side, and stern refuelling is an option. A similar ship was sold to China and two others are in commercial service. To be fitted with close-in weapon systems - guns and missiles - for self-defence.

INS Viraat

Please scroll to the bottom to view images of INS Viraat

Vessel Type: Aircraft Carrier.

Name & Pennant Number with Commission Date:
INS Viraat R22 (former HMS Hermes
R12) - 20 May 1987.

Structure: The vessel has been fitted with a 12º ski jump to operate the Sea Harrier, a reinforced flight deck, 1.2 inches of armour over magazines and machinery spaces. The magazine capacity includes 80+ lightweight torpedoes. The vessel retains commando transport capability, for around 750 troops and carries four LCVP landing craft aft.

Displacement: 23,900 tons standard and 28,700 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 226.5 metres.
.................Beam - 48.78 metres.
.................Draught - 8.8 metres.

Main Machinery: Has four boilers with 400 psi. Also has two geared steam turbine engines with 76,000 shp and two shafts.

Maximum Speed: 28 knots.

Maximum Range: 6500 miles at 14 knots.

Complement: 1350 (incl. 143 Officers with the air group)

Air Group: Fleet Defense; Sea Harrier Frs Mk.51 (Capacity for 30)
Airborne Early Warning; Ka-31 Helix-B (By 2001)
..............ASW/ASV; Sea King Mk.42B and Ka-28 Helix-A
..............Cdo. Assault & Vertrep*; Sea King Mk.42C
*Vertical Replinshment

Radar: Air Search; One Bharat/Signaal RAWL 02 radar at C/D-band frequency.
.........Air/Surface Search;
One RAWS 08 radar at E-band frequency.
.........Navigation; Two Bharat Rashmi radars at I-band
.........Fire Control; Refer to 'Weapons' sub-section.
.........Tacan; FT 13-S/M

Sonar: One Graseby Type 184M hull-mounted sonar, with active search & attack capability from 6-9 khz.

Combat Data System: Italian Elmar communication suites have been fitted. CAAIS action data automation; Link 10. Has SATCOM (SATellite COMmunications) systems on-board.

Weapons: The Israeli Barak SAM system has been fitted, with fire control provided by an EL/M-2221 STGR radar. Two 40mm Bofors guns are used for air defense and were accompanied by a pair of 30mm AK-230 gatling guns (for protection against anti-ship missiles) till the latter was replaced by the Barak system. Fire control for the Bofors and AK-230 guns, which were installed in 1996, were provided by a pair of Plessey Type 904 radars at I/J-band frequency. One of these radars has since been replaced with the EL/M-2221 STGR radar.

Countermeasures: A Bharat Ajanta ESM is used for intercept purposes. Two Knebworth Corvus chaff launchers are used as decoys.

Comments: INS Viraat was originally commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on 18 November 1959, as the last of the Centaur Class aircraft carriers. She served as the flagship of the Royal Navy's taskforce in the 1982 Falklands conflict. She served with the Royal Navy until 12 April 1984 and was then stricken from active duty in 1985. On 24 April 1986, the Indian Navy purchased the vessel and gave it an extensive refit at the Davenport Dockyard, which gave it a life-extension refit of 10 years. This refit included new fire control equipment, navigation radars and deck landing aids. Boilers were converted to take distillate fuel and the ship was given improved NBC protection. The engine room was flooded in September 1993, which put the vessel out of service for several months. By 1995, the vessel was back in service and had a new search radar.

INS Viraat completed another life-extension refit  beginning in July 1999 and ending in April 2001, which is expected to extend her serviceability till 2010. This refit included upgrading propulsion systems, a package of sensors to sound emergency alerts, a modern communication system, a long-range surveillance radar, new weapon systems, new hangar fire curtains, a revamped lift system to reduce reaction time in the event of an attack and a new flood alarm system. The vessel underwent sea trials in December 2000 and finally returned to service in early June 2001 after nearly two years in refit. The vessel also took part in the International Fleet Review in Mumbai on 17 February 2001. The vessel had to be towed back to dry dock for another refit in mid-2003 and returned to service only in November 2004, during which the vessel was fitted with the Barak SAM.

The Press Trust of India and The Telegraph reported that INS Viraat is scheduled to go for a one year refurbishment to extend its life. Quoting Vice Admiral Jagjit Singh Bedi, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, "Virat has life in it and we will be carrying out a year-long refit starting early next year so that the ship is healthy till Gorshkov comes. It's machinery will be strengthened. It will be given a normal refit to last till Admiral Gorshkov arrives by the end of 2009 or early 2010."  Vice Admiral Bedi did indicate that no new military hardware, except a new air surveillance radar, will be installed aboard INS Viraat.

By mid August 2009, Viraat was floated in the dry docks at CSL upon completion of her latest life extension refit. She is expected to rejoin the Fleet in Sep 2009 and serve until 2015.  

INS Viraat, with her complement of personnel on deck, at Malta, 1987. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni The crew of INS Viraat proudly carries her name, as aptly shown here. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar INS Viraat with a complement of Sea Harriers, Sea Kings & HAL Chetaks. The Sea Harrier at extreme left is a T Mk.4(I) two-seat trainer variant (acquired from the U.K. in 2003) upgraded to the T Mk.60 standard. Image © US Navy

INS Viraat at the International Fleet Review, 2001. Units of the No.44 Ferry Boat Squadron are tied up alongside. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on the bridge of INS Viraat. Circa 1988. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni A key handing over ceremony on 28 January 1987, as the engineering department celebrated a milestone when the B Boiler room was flashed up. The person on right is Captain (later Vice Admiral) Vinod Pasricha. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni INS Viraat with her new electronic and radar equipment on-board. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar INS Viraat lies docked in port at Kochi, Kerala. Circa 2003. A recent recipient of a life extension programme, the aircraft carrier is expected to stay with the Indian Navy till 2010. Image © Sanjay Simha

Posing for the camera, INS Viraat with her complement of Sea Harriers Mk.51s and Sea King Mk.42s on the deck. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni A bow shot of INS Viraat. A Sea King Mk.42 helicopter can be seen hovering in the background, about to land on deck. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni Staring down the very long flight deck of INS Viraat. Circa - 21 July 2005 at Changi Naval Base, Singapore. She and her taskforce were on a goodwill tour of the South East Asian region. Image © Ow Eng Tiong Amid the background sensor clutter of INS Rajput and INS Ranjit, the outline of the 40mm Bofors air defence gun looks barely noticeable. Circa - 21 July 2005 at Changi Naval Base, Singapore. Image © Ow Eng Tiong A line drawing of INS Viraat.


Judging by the rope at the end, INS Gaj appears to be pulling a vessel out to sea. Image © Indian Navy

Vessel Type: Ocean Tug.

Name & Pennant Number with commission dates:
INS Gaj ??; (10 October 2002).

Displacement: 560 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 34 metres.
.................LPD* - 32.5 metres.
.................Beam - 10 metres.
.................Draft - 2.75 metres.
.................Hull Depth - 4 metres.
*Length Between Perpendiculars

Maximum Speed: 12 knots.

Maximum Range: Not Known.

Complement: 22 sailors including 1 officer.

Weapons: Not Known.

Comments: Built by Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL). The vessel has remarkable manoeuvrability and capability to tow vessels stranded on the high seas or those in distress to safe passage in the harbour. It an also be deployed as a floating fire tender. The vessel is equipped with some of the latest facilities including 1,060 KW Wartsila diesel engines, Voith Schneider propellers and a six-tonne hydraulic deck crane. It can move in any direction irrespective of the positioning of its head and turn 360 degrees on spot.

INS Nireekshak

A HAL Chetak hovers overhead INS Nireekshak. She serves in the submarine SAR role. Image © Indian Navy

Vessel Type: Diving Support Ship

Name & Pennant Number with commission date:
INS Nireekshak A15 (08 June 1989)

Displacement: 2160 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesels with 4410 hp sustained, two shafts, cp props, two bow thrusters, two stern thrusters with 990 hp.

Maximum Speed: 12 knots.

Complement: 63 (incl. 15 officers).

Comments: Acquired on lease with an option for purchase, which was taken up in March 1995, and the vessel was formerly re-commissioned on 15 September 1995. The vessel was built for offshore support operations but has been modified for naval requirements. Two DSRVs (Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle), capable of taking 12 men to 300 meters, are carried together with two six-man recompression chambers and one three-man bell. A Kongsberg ADP-503 Mk.II dynamic positioning system is fitted. The vessel is used for submarine SAR (Search & Rescue).

INS Sagardhwani

INS Sagardhwani at the International Fleet Review, 2001. Note the two cranes, painted in bright orange. Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarINS Sagardhwani at sea. Note the large helictoper platform, front of the bridge. Image © Indian NavyAnother shot of INS Sagardhwani. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar 

Vessel Type: Research Ship.

Name & Pennant Number with commission date:
INS Sagardhwani A74 (30 July 1994)

Displacement: 2050 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesel engines with 3860 hp sustained. Also has two shafts and two auxiliary thrusters.

Maximum Speed: 16 knots.

Maximum Range: 6000 at 16 knots.

Complement: 80 sailors (10 officers) plus 16 scientists.

Radar: Navigation; One Racal Decca 1629 radar at I-band frequency.

Helicopters: One HAL Chetak.

Comments: INS Sagardhwani is a Marine Acoustic Research Ship (MARS) launched in May 1991. The hull and machinery are very similar to the Sandhayak Class survey vessels, but there are marked superstructure differences with the bridge positioned amidships and a helicopter platform forward. The vessel has been configured as a research vessel for the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory, Kochi. The vessel is also based there. Aft there are two large cranes and a gantry for deploying and recovering research equipment.

There are a total of eight labs to permit conducting acoustic, geological, meteorological, chemical and physical oceanography. Most of the laboratories are acoustically isolated from the ship's structure. Among the first vessels in the Indian Navy with accommodations for female personnel. Carries 116 tons fresh water. The vessel is painted white except for the lift equipment and two rescue boats which are painted in orange. The vessel was employed in advanced torpedo trials and missile range support.

INS Jalashwa

INS Jalashwa, the latest addition to the Indian Navy's fleet entering Visakhapatnam harbour. The ship entered Vizag harbour on 12 September 2007. Image © Indian NavyINS Jalashwa, with six H-3 Sea King maritime utility transport helicopters embaked, headng for homeport Visakhapatanam. The ship has now formed part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command, which is headquartered in Vizag. Image © Indian NavyINS Jalashwa LPD 41 lies docked at the BAe Systems Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia on 07 June 2007 during her refit before being commissioned into the Indian Navy. Image © Marc PichéINS Jalashwa LPD 41 (at right) lies docked next to the US Navy's newest landing platform dock vessel - the USS San Antonio LPD 17 - at the BAe Systems Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia on 07 June 2007. Image © Marc Piché USS Trenton LPD 14 prior to her being commissioned into the Indian Navy as INS Jalashwa L41. Norfolk naval base, 22 September 2006. Image © Marc Piché

Vessel Type: Amphibious Transport Dock or Landing Platform Dock (LPD).

Names & Pennant Numbers with Commissioning Dates:
INS Jalashwa L41 (former USS Trenton LPD 14) - 22 June 2007.

Displacement: 7696 tons dead.
...................8894 tons light.
...................16,590 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length (Overall) - 173.7 metres (570 feet).
................Length (Waterline) - 167 metres (548 feet).
................Beam (Extreme) - 30.4 metres (100 feet).
................Beam (Waterline) - 25.6 metres (84 feet).
................Draught (Maximum) - 6.7 metres (22 feet).
................Draught (Limit) - 7 metres (23 feet).

Main Machinery: Two boilers, two steam turbines, two shafts, 24,000 shaft horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 20 knots.

Maximum Range:  Not Known.

Complement: In United States Navy service, the ship's complement included 24 officers, 396 sailors and 900 marines. The Indian Navy complement includes 27 officers and 380 sailors.

Military Lift: Four LCM-8 landing craft were acquired, along with the purchase of INS Jalashwa. These boats are housed in a hangar below.

Radar:  Navigation; Not Known.

Weapons: In United States Navy service, she was armed with two Phalanx CIWS, two 25mm Mk 38 guns and eight .50-calibre machine guns. It has been confirmed that the vessel has retained the pair of Phalanx CIWS upon transfer to the Indian Navy.

Helicopters: Six H-3 Sea King maritime utility transport helicopters can be carried on board.

Comments: INS Jalashwa - a Sanskrit name for the Hippopotamus - with its motto The Fearless Pioneers, is an amphibious assault ship that can embark, transport and land various elements of an amphibious force to support operations ashore. Being the second largest ship in the Indian Navy's inventory, she is capable of undertaking amphibious operations, maritime surveillance, special operations, search & rescue, medical support and as well as humanitarian relief.

She was originally commissioned in the United States Navy as USS Trenton, one of twelve vessels in the Austin Class amphibious warfare series. She was laid down at Seattle, Washington on 08 August 1966 by the Lockheed Shipbuilding & Construction Company. She was launched on 03 August 1968 and was commissioned on 06 March 1971. After nearly 36 years of service with the US Navy, she was transferred to the Indian Navy on 17 January 2007 and was commissioned on 22 June 2007. The Indian Government purchased the vessel for Rs 2.18 billion (USD $48.44 million). In India, she is based at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh under the Eastern Naval Command [ENC].  This is the first ship to be transferred from the US Navy, besides being the first Landing Platform Dock (LPD) to be acquired by the Indian Navy.

The specialty of this ship is the well deck, which houses the LCM-8 river boat which can be launched by flooding the well deck and operating the hinged gate at the rear end of the ship. The ship's cargo space enhances the equipment carrying capability. Unlike regular warships, this ship has a flight deck for helicopter operations from which four medium helicopters can operate simultaneously. This deck can also be used to operate vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft like the Sea Harrier, in special circumstances. Since the ship is capable of embarking over 1000 troops, she is fully equipped with extensive medical facilities including four operation theatres, 12-bed ward, laboratory and a dental centre to ensure the health care of the embarked personnel.

Please click here to view the transfer ceremony of INS Jalashwa