Talwar (Krivak III) Class

The Talwar class has its origins in the Severnoye (Northern) Design Bureau that developed intothe Project 1135.6 vessel using an earlier Project 1135.1 design. This back to the early 1980s. The extensive scope of redesign and re-engineering for these vessels has realised a multipurpose surface combatant of about 4,000 ton displacement (this increase being attributed to additional weapon systems and the replacement of light alloys with steel), tailored to meet the Indian Navy's specific mission and performance requirements.

Read more: Talwar (Krivak III) Class

Polnochny Class

A Polnochny Class LST. Image © Indian NavyINS Sharabh. Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarThe Ghorpad. Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarINS Cheetah. Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarINS Sharabh during an amphibious assault. Notice the pair of BMP-II ICVs at the top right hand corner. Image © MoD Annual Report, 1986-87 via Titash Sridharan
A side profile of INS Mahish. Image © Indian NavyA line drawing of a Polnochny-D Class LST. Image © Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej (Naval Shipyard Gdynia)

Vessel Type: Amphibious Warfare Vessel or Landing Ship Tank (Medium) - LST(M).

Names & Pennant Numbers with Commissioning Dates and Places:

INS Cheetah L18 (February 1985 - Gdynia, Poland)
INS Mahish L19 (04 June 1985 - Gdynia, Poland)
INS Guldar L21 (December 1985 - Gdynia, Poland)
INS Kumbhir L22 (November 1986 - Gdynia, Poland)

Names & Pennant Numbers with commissioning dates and places:
Ghorpad L14 (21 December 1974 - Gdynia, Poland) - decommissioned on 11 January 2008
Kesari L15 (15 August 1975 - Gdynia, Poland) - decommissioned on 08 May 1999
Shardul L16 (24 November 1975 - Gdynia, Poland) - decommissioned in June 1997

Sharabh L17 (27 January 1976 - Gdynia, Poland) - decommissioned on 14 July 2011

Displacement: 1120-1125 tons standard.
...................1150 (773I) & 1190 (773IM) - tons full load.
...................1324 tons maximum load for 773IM.

Dimensions: Length (Overall) - 81.32 metres.
................Length (Between Perpendiculars) - 75.95 metres.
................Draught - 1.3 metres (extreme bow and 2.58 metres (stern).
................Breadth - 9.3 metres.
................Depth - 5.2 metres.

Main Machinery: Two Soviet Kolomna 40-D two stroke diesel engines totalling 4400 bhp sustained and 2 shafts.

Maximum Speed: 16 knots (contract speed).

Fuel: 115 tons (185 tons overload).

Maximum Range: 1200 nautical miles at 16 knots.
.......................1800 nautical miles with maximum fuel load at 16 knots.
.......................3000 nautical miles at 12 knots.

Complement: Design complement - 5 Officers, 16 Petty Officers and 24 Ratings. In regular practice, it is normal to have 6 Officers and 60 Sailors.

Military Lift: 196 tons including five MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) plus 180 troops, including vehicle crews.

Radar: Navigation; One Polish Type SRN 7453 radar at I-band frequency.
.........................One unspecified commercial navigation radar.
.........Fire Control;
Refer to 'Weapons' sub-section.

Weapons: Two AK-230 (twin) 30mm gun mountings with a single MR-104 (Drum Tilt) radar at H/I-band frequency. Some vessels have this particular radar removed and the guns are instead controlled by the Kolonka optical sight.

Anti-submarine armament comprises of two Polish Type WM-18A 140mm 18-tube rocket launchers.

Helicopters: One helicopter platform (in Type 773IM) for the HAL Chetak helicopter.

Comments: These vessels are built by Poland's Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej or Naval Shipyard Gdynia in two batches of four on direct order from the Indian Navy. The vessels were commissioned in Gdynia, Poland and sailed for India with Indian crews. The commissioning CO of the Ghorpad, Sushil Kumar, was later to become the Chief of Naval Staff. The first four are Type 773I (I for India) and the second batch, with helicopter decks, are designated as the Type 773IM (M for modified). The first three vessels of the Type 773I series have been decommissioned. The first batch commissioned as the 4th Landing Ship Squadron based at Vizag, while the second batch constitutes the 5th Landing Ship Squadron of the Andaman Flotilla at Port Blair. It was announced in mid-2002 that Kirloskar Oil Engines Limited (KOEL) is to re-engine the four Type 773IM LST(M) with license built SEMT-Pielstick 6PA6 L280 engines with Naval Shipyard Gdynia acting as technical consultant. Other details have not been released.

Vice Admiral Raman Prem Suthan, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, stated that the Ghorpad had served for 9,000 hours at sea covering a total distance of 166,000 nautical miles during its 33 years of service. Lieutenant Commander Anil K. Tomer, who served as the last Commanding Officer of the Ghorpad, described her as the 'grand old lady' who has great accomplishments to her credit. Even during her last days, she was fighting fit. Commander M.V. Raj Krishna, who had commanded the ship between May 2005 and June 2006, described the decommissioning as a nostalgic moment.

Sandhayak Class

A Sandhayak Class survey ship. Image © Indian NavyImage © Mrityunjoy MazumdarA stern shot of INS Nirdeshak. Note the helicopter hangar. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar

Vessel Type: Survey Ship.

Names & Pennant Numbers with commission dates:
INS Sandhayak J18 (14 March 1981)
INS Nirdeshak J19 (04 October 1982)
INS Nirupak J14 (14 August 1985)
INS Investigator J15 (11 January 1990)
INS Jamuna J16 (31 August 1991)
INS Sutlej J17 (19 February 1993)
INS Darshak J20 (28 April 2001)
INS Sarvekshak J22 (14 January 2002)

Displacement: 1929 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesel engines with 7720 hp sustained. Also has two shafts which has active rudders.

Maximum Speed: 16 knots.

Maximum Range: 6000 miles at 14 knots.
.......................14,000 miles at 10 knots.

Complement: 178 (incl. 18 officers) + 30 scientists.

Weapons: 1 or 2 Bofors 40mm/60 guns.

Countermeasures: ESM; Telegon IV HF D/F.

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

Helicopters: One HAL Chetak.

Comments: Fitted with a telescopic hangar. The first six vessels have three echo sounders, extensively equipped laboratories and carries 4 GRP survey launches on davits amidships. Painted white with yellow funnels. An active rudder, with a DC motor gives speeds of up to 5 knots. First three vessels (J18, J19 and J14) are based at Vizag and have been used as troop transports. J15 is based at Mumbai and J16 and J17 at Kochi. The last pair were laid down in May and August 1995, and are to have a secondary role as casualty holding ships.

Varuna Class

A spectacular bow shot of INS Tarangini sailing in the Bay of Bengal. Image © Naval TechnologyINS Tarangini sailing in the Arabian Sea. Image © Indian Navy

Vessel Type: Sail Training Ship.

Names with commission dates:
INS Varuna ? (1981)
INS Tarangini ? (1997)

Displacement: 420 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 54 metres.
.................Beam - 8.5 metres.
.................Draught - 4 metres.

Main Machinery: Two diesel engines with 640hp sustained and two shafts.

Maximum Speed: 10 knots.

Complement: Commanding Officers - 01
...................Officers - 05
...................Seamen - 06
...................Petty Officers - 04
...................Cadets - 45

Comments: INS Varuna was completed in April 1981 by Alcock-Ashdown in Bhavnagar. It can carry only 26 cadets. Details above are given for INS Taragini, which is based on a Lord Nelson design by Colin Murdie, Lymington and has been built by Goa Shipyard. Three masted barque, square rigged on forward & main mast and fore & aft rigged on mizzen mast. Based at Kochi. INS Taragini is currently on a round-the-world training cruise. Click here for more info.

Pondicherry Class

Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarImage © Mrityunjoy MazumdarINS Pondicherry at the International Fleet Review, 17 February 2001. INS Sagardhwani, an Indian Navy research vessel, can be seen right behind. Image © PH2 (NAC) David C. Mercil, United States NavyINS Cuddalore, from the No.21 MCM Squadron, at sea. Image © Indian Navy
INS Bedi M63. Image © H&L Van GinderenINS Konkan M72. Image © H&L Van GinderenOn the bridge of INS Cuddalore. Image © Indian NavyA close-up shot of the diesel engines used in the Pondicherry Class. Image © Indian NavyA line drawing of the Pondicherry Class

Vessel Type: Ocean Minesweeper. (Natya 1 Class)

Names & Pennant Numbers with commission dates:
INS Pondicherry M61 (02 February 1978), decommissioned
INS Porbandar M62 (19 December 1978), decommissioned
INS Bedi M63 (27 April 1979), decommissioned on 22 Sep 2009
INS Bhavnagar M64 (27 April 1979), decommissioned on 26 Dec 2009
INS Alleppey M65 (10 June 1980)
INS Ratnagiri M66 (10 June 1980)
INS Karwar M67 (14 July 1986)
INS Cannanore M68 (17 December 1987)
INS Cuddalore M69 (29 October 1987)
INS Kakinanda M70 (23 December 1986)
INS Kozhikode M71 (19 December 1988)
INS Konkan M72 (08 October 1988)

Structure: The vessels are fitted with steel hulls but they do not have stern ramps as in the Russian models.

Displacement: 804 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesel engines with 5000 hp sustained, 2 shafts and cp props.

Maximum Speed: 16 knots.

Maximum Range: 3000 miles at 12 knots.

Complement: 82 (incl. 10 officers).

Radar: Air/Surface; One Don 2 radar at I-band frequency.
.........IFF; 2
(NATO: Square Head - High Pole B) radars.
.........Fire Control; Refer to 'Weapons' sub-section.

Sonar: MG-69/79, hull mounted which has active mine detection, with high frequency.

Weapons: All vessels have four 30mm guns with 85º elevation, 500 rounds a minute to 2.7n miles; 5 km and four 25mm guns with 85º elevation, 270 rounds a minute to 1.6n miles; 3 km. Fire control is provided by a single MR-104 (NATO: Drum Tilt) radar at H/I-band frequency. Also fitted with two RBU-1200 5-tubed fixed mortars with a range of 1200 meters. Can also carry 10 mines. Some boats are fitted with a pair of quad 9K32M Strela-2 (SA-N-5) SAM launchers.

Countermeasures: 1 AT-2 acoustic sweep.
.........................1 GKT-2 contact sweep.

.........................1 TEM-3 magnetic sweep.

Comments: INS Pondicherry was painted white and used as the Presidential yacht for the Fleet Review by President R. Venkataraman, on 15 February 1989. She reverted to her normal role and colour on completion. One vessels serves as an AGI (intelligence collection ship). The last six vessels were delivered out of pennant order. These vessels constitute the 19 and 21 MCM Squadrons. M61 - M66 are based at Mumbai and M67 - M72 are based at Vizag. These vessels carry three types of sweeps - TEM-3, AT-2 and MT-1 which are streamed from their quarter-deck. The ship's hull is made of special U3 steel to reduce its own magnetic signature. These sweeps act as mine-counter equipment and can detect various types of mines such as electro-magnetic influenced mines, acoustically influenced mines, moored mines, etc. The TEM-3 and AT-2 sweeps simulate various signatures that a ship might produce, which in turn causes the mine to explode.

The Times of India reported on 09 January 2006, that eight of the vessels are planned to be decommissioned between 2006 and 2008, while the remaining four are undergoing mid-life refits to extend their operational life. India PR Wire reported on 08 January 2008, that Thales of France has signed a $50 million deal, which will involve refitting four to six Pondicherry Class minesweepers into advanced mine hunters. The sonar suites and combat systems will be replaced, which will give the upgraded vessels leading edge capabilities. These vessels are equally divided between the Western and Eastern Naval Commands, but it is unsure which boats will undergo the mid-life upgrade. What is certain however, is that the refits will take place at Visakhapatnam and thus it is likely that the upgraded vessels will be the ones that are currently stationed there. Officials from Thales Underwater Systems will conduct the refits in collaboration with the Indian Navy and the project will reportedly take four years to complete.

Mark 3 Landing Craft

L36 at Sea. Image © 92 Wing, RAAFL35 drops off troops & vehicles, during a amphibious landing exercise. Image © Indian NavyL37 off-loads troops at a beach, as part of a training exercise. Image © Quarterdeck 2000 

Vessel Type: Landing Craft.

Pennant Numbers & Type with Commission Dates:
L32 (?)*
L33 - LCU Mk.2 (12 January 1980)*
L34 - LCU Mk.2 (28 January 1980)
L35 - LCU Mk.2 (17 December 1983)
L36 - LCU Mk.3 (18 July 1986)
L37 - LCU Mk.3 (18 October 1986?)
L38 - LCU Mk.3 (10 December 1986)
L39 - LCU Mk.3 (25 March 1987)
*Possibly decommissioned

Names & Pennant Numbers:
L31 - decommissioned

Dimensions: Length - 57.50 metres.
.................Beam - 8.20 metres.
.................Draft - 1.57 metres.

Displacement: 500 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Three Kirloskar-MAN V8V 17.5/22 AMAL diesel engines, each rated at 562 bhp (providing 1686 bhp total), driving 3 shafts.

Maximum Speed: 11.5 knots.

Maximum Range: 1000 miles at 8 knots.

Complement: 207 total (including troops).

Military Lift: 250 tons; 2 PT-76 or 2 APCs. 120 Troops.

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

Weapons: Two Bofors 40mm/60 guns (aft). Can also deploy mines.

Comments: These vessels were all built at the Goa SY and use pennant numbers instead of names. The names associated with them are for other yard craft. L32 & L33 may have been decommissioned in 2002. The vessels from pennant numbers L36 onwards, have a considerably modified superstructure and a higher bulwark on the cargo deck.

Makar Class

The Makar at sea. Image © Indian NavyThe Makar at sea. Image © Indian NavyINS Meen. Image © Indian Navy

Vessel Type: Survey Ship.

Names & Pennant Numbers with commission dates:
INS Meen J33
INS Mesh J34

Pennant Numbers with commission dates:
Makar J31 (31 January 1984) - decommissioned on 04 April 2005
Mithun J32 (31 March 1984) - decommissioned on 31 March 2007

Displacement: 210 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 37.5 metres
................Beam - 12.8 metres
................Draft - 3.3 metres

Maximum Speed: 12 knots.

Maximum Range: 1500 miles at 12 knots.

Complement: 36 (incl. 4 officers).

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

Weapons: One Bofors 40mm/60 gun.

Comments: These vessels have similar hulls to the depleted SDB Mk.2 Class but with much smaller engines. The vessels are based at Kochi and Chennai. Like her sister ships, the Makar was initially inducted as a survey vessel and she did numerous surveys for the Indian Navy and the Hydrographic Department of India till 1993. Following the Indian Navy's decision to increase its presence in the Palk Bay, following LTTE activities off Tamil Nadu coast, the role of Makar was changed from survey to local defence and its base port shifted from Kochi to Chennai. Under the changed role, the ship was deployed for the first time in the Palk Bay on 02 January 1994 and thereafter she was involved in innumerable exercises and operations. As per an article in The Hindu, the Makar was decommissioned on 04 April 2005 at Chennai.

As per an article in The Hindu, the Mithun was decommissioned from the Indian Navy on 31 March 2007 at Chennai. In her 23 years of service to the Indian Navy, the vessel clocked 111,442 hours covering 72,390 nautical miles. The Mithun was originally designed for carrying out survey activities and was initially based at Kochi. From October 1993, she became a patrol vessel and its base was shifted to Chennai. Since then, it had been continuously deployed at Palk Bay and adjoining areas. She contributed immensely to safeguarding the country's territorial waters in the region. She also took part in the tsunami relief operations in December 2004 and was deployed off the coastal towns of Kalpakkam and Mahabalipuram, both south of Chennai.

Seaward Defence Boats

SDB T-56 at sea. Image © Indian NavySDB T-56 lies anchored at sea along with FAC T-83, a Super Dvora Class fast patrol vessel. Image © Indian Navy 

Vessel Type: Large Patrol Craft.

Designations & Pennant Numbers:
  T-54 commissioned on 01 Sep 1982 , decommissioned on 20 Jan 06
Mk.II  T-55 decommissiond in 2008-2009
Mk.III T-56 decommissiond in 2008-2009
SDB Mk.III T-59 decommisioned on 07 Sep 2009
SDB Mk.III T-60 decommisioned on 07 Sep 2009

Displacement: 210 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesel motors with 6,820 hp and 2 shafts.

Maximum Speed: 30 knots.

Maximum Range: 5800 miles at 15 knots.

Complement: 32 personnel.

Radar: Surface; Bharat 1245, I-band.

Weapons: Two Bofors 40mm/60 gun at 120 rds/min to 5.5n miles; 10 km.

Comments: These vessels were built at Garden Reach DY, Kolkata and Mazagon DY, Goa and completed by 1984-86.

The Indian Navy on Monday, 07 Sep2009 de-commissioned two of its Seaward Defence Boats, T-59 and T-60, 24 years after they started sailing the seas. The decommissioning took place at the Madras Port Trust in the presence of commodore Rajiv Girotra, VSM, naval officer-in-charge (Tamil Nadu & Puducherry), who received the guard of honour. The paying off pennant was hoisted on Sunday to mark the beginning of the decommissioning ceremony. The naval ensign and the national flag were lowered and folded at sunset. The last post was then played and the paying off pennant lowered. Measuring 37.5 metres in length with speeds of 25 knots and manned by sailors and officers, the ships were fitted with two Bofors 40/60 and one heavy machine gun. Under the guidance of naval officer-in-charge (Tamil Nadu & Puducherry), the ships played an appreciable role to augment the coastal security that included measures to sensitise fishing communities and enforce security along international maritime border line and off shore platforms.  During their long years of service, SDB-59 and SDB T-60 had been mostly based in Chennai and participated in several crucial deployments like Op Pawan and Op Tasha, a naval release said.  While the SDB-59 had clocked 1,840 days at sea, the SDB-60 has clocked over 1,900 days at sea, the release said. The ships will be replaced by two new indigenously-designed Water Jet Propelled Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) which will commissioned on November 10 at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata.