Nicobar Class

Andamans in her former avatar as the Nancowry, a vessel which was formerly owned by the Shipping Corporation of India. Image © Stocznia Szczecinska via Adam SmigielskiINS Nicobar at sea. Image © 92 Wing, RAAF

Vessel Type: Type B-561 Transport Ship.

Names, Launch and Commissioning Dates:
• INS Nicobar (Yard # B-561/1) was launched on 12 April 1990 and delivered to the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) on 05 June 1991. The vessel was acquired by the Indian Navy in April 1998.
• INS Andamans (Yard # B-561/2 - completed as the Nancowry) was launched on 05 October 1990 and delivered to the Shipping Corporation of India on 31 March 1992. The vessel was acquired by the Indian Navy in April 2000.

Dimensions: Length (Overall) - 157 metres.
................Length (Between Perpendiculars) - 144 metres.
................Height - 12.8 metres (depth of the hull).
................Beam - 21 metres.
................Draft - 6.7 metres.

Displacement: 19,000 Tons full load.
...................4963 DWT (Dead Weight Tonnage). DWT is the amount of cargo, fuel, water, stores and crew a vessel can carry when fully loaded. DWT is expressed in long tons of 2240 pounds each.
...................14,176 GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage). GRT - also used to describe merchant ships, especially passenger-carrying ships - refers to the volume of space within the hull & enclosed spaces above the deck which is available for cargo, stores, fuel, passengers and crew. GRT is measured in units of 100 cubic feet and its use dates back to the time when a ship's capacity was measured by how many barrels ('tuns') of wine that a ship could carry.

Main Machinery: Two Cegielski-B&W type 6L35MC diesels each rated at 2670 kW, driving two shafts. Total power is listed at 5340 kW.

Maximum Speed: 16 knots.

Complement: 119 design, possibly 160 in practice.

Cargo Capacity: 1200 troops.

Radar: Navigation; Not Known.

Helicopters: Platform for one medium helicopter.

Comments: Contrary to other published reports, these ships were not built at Hindustan Shipyards, Vizag. These are Type B-561 cargo-passenger vessels designed & built by Szczecin Shipyard in Szczecin, Poland. They were originally ordered by the Ministry of Transport & Navigation for service with the Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCI) and were later acquired by the Indian Navy for troop transport duties. The design of the Type B-561 was however sold to India for license construction. The ships have large davits for LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) and feature a high bridge forward, funnel aft and helicopter platform at the stern. The vessels could have a more general purpose role, other than troop transport.

Khukri (Type 25) Class

Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarImage © Mrityunjoy MazumdarImage © Mrityunjoy MazumdarAn excellent shot of INS Khukri, as it skims the water surface at high speed. Image © Indian NavyGetting up close and personal, with the armament & sensors of INS Kirpan. Image © Guy ToremansINS Khukri and INS Khutar out on regular naval exercises. Image © Indian Navy

A rough sketch of the P25 Class. Image © Ian Sturton

Vessel Type: Type 25 Corvette.

Names & Pennant Numbers with laid down, launched & commission dates:
INS Khukri P49; Laid Down - 27 Sep 1985, Launched - 03 Dec 1986, Commissioned - 23 August 1989.
INS Khutar P46; Laid Down - 13 Sep 1986, Launched - 15 Apr 1989, Commissioned - 07 June 1990.
INS Kirpan P44; Laid Down - 15 Nov 1985, Launched - 16 Aug 1988, Commissioned - 12 January 1991.
INS Khanjar P47; Laid Down - 15 Nov 1985, Launched - 16 Aug 1988, Commissioned - 22 October 1991.

Structure: The plan was to give the Type 25 vessels an ASW role. INS Khukri, however, has neither torpedo tubes nor sonar (apart from an Atlas Elektronick echo sounder), so they rely on a helicopter which has dunking sonar, depth charges and ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) torpedoes. All these vessels have fin stabilizers and full air conditioning.

Displacement: 1350 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 91.1 metres.
.................Beam - 10.5 metres.
.................Draught - 4.5 metres.

Main Machinery: 2 diesel motors with 14,400 hp, 2 shafts and cp props.

Maximum Speed: 25 knots.

Maximum Range: 4000 miles at 16 knots.

Complement: 79 (incl. 10 officers).

Radar: Air; One MR 352 Pozitiv-E (NATO: Cross Dome) radar at E/F-band frequency (range - 70n miles; 130km).
.........Air/Surface; One Garpun-Bal (NATO: Plank Shave) radar at I-band frequency.
.........Navigation; One Bharat 1245 radar at I-band frequency.
.........Fire Control; Refer to 'Weapons' sub-section.

Combat Data System: Selenia system fitted on INS Khukri, with the Bharat Vympel IPN-10 system fitted in the remaining three vessels.

Helicopter Capacity: Has a helicopter pad in the aft of the vessel, which carries the HAL Chetak. To be replaced by the Naval ALH in due course.

Weapons: Four P-20M (SS-N-2D) AShMs, in two twin-tube launchers, with infra-red homing (Mod 1) to 45n miles; 83km at Mach 0.9 with a 513 kg warhead. The missile becomes a sea skimmer at the end of run. Fire control is provided by a single MR-123 (NATO: Bass Tilt) radar at H/I-band frequency. Two Strela-2M (SA-N-5) SAM launchers, manual aiming with infra-red homing to 3.2n miles; 6 km at Mach 1.5 with a 1.5 kg warhead. Maximum altitude is at 2500 metres (8000 feet). One AK-176 76mm gun with 85º elevation, 120 rds/min to 8n miles; 15 km. Also has two 30mm AK-630 guns with 85º elevation, 3000 rds/min to 2 km.

Countermeasures: One Bharat Ajanta P Mk.II intercept is used in the ESM (Electronic Support Measures) role. Two PK-10 chaff launchers and one NPOL (Naval Physical & Ocenographic Laboratory) designed towed torpedo are used for decoy purposes.

Comments: These vessels were intended to replace the ageing Petya II Class corvettes. The first two were ordered in December 1984 and two in 1985. The diesel engines are assembled in India, under license by Kirloskar. Around 65% of the ship contains indigenous content.

Sukanya Class

Image © Mrityunjoy MazumdarImage © Mrityunjoy MazumdarINS Sukanya patrols the high seas along with the missile corvette INS Vipul, and another unidentified corvette. Image © Indian Navy via Kapil ChandniINS Subhadra was used as the Presidential Yacht for the International Fleet Review by President K. Narayanan, on 17 February 2001. Image © PH2 (NAC) David C. Mercil, United States NavyA beautiful black & white stern shot of INS Sarayu. In 2000 she was sold to Sri Lanka, to effectively patrol its coast, and renamed as SLNS Sayura. Image © Brian Morrison

Vessel Type: Large Patrol Craft.

Names & Pennant Numbers with commission dates:
INS Sukanya P50; Commissioned - 31 August 1989
INS Subhadra P51; Commissioned - 25 January 1990 - retrofitted with Dhanush stabilizer
INS Suvarna P52; Commissioned - 04 April 1991 - retrofitted with Dhanush stabilizer
INS Savitiri P53; Laid Down - 25 June 1988, Launched - 23 May 1989, Commissioned - 27 November 1990
INS Sarayu P54; Laid Down - 25 June 1988, Launched - 16 October 1989, Commissioned - 10 April 1991, Sold to Sri Lanka in 2000
INS Sharada P55; Laid Down - 16 June 1989, Launched - 22 August 1990, Commissioned - 16 December 1992
INS Sujata P56; Laid Down - 16 June 1989, Launched - 23 October 1991, Commissioned - 03 November 1993

Structure: Lightly armed and able to stage helos, they are fitted out for offshore patrol work but have the capacity to be much more heavily armed. Fin stabilizers are fitted and a fire fighting pump is present on the aft hanger roof.

Displacement: 1890 tons full load.

Main Machinery: Two diesel motors with 12,880 hp and 2 shafts.

Maximum Speed: 21 knots.

Maximum Range: 5800 miles at 15 knots.

Complement: 140 (incl. 15 officers).

Radar: Surface; One Racal Decca 2459 radar at I-band frequency.
.........Navigation; One Bharat 1245 radar at I-band frequency.

Helicopters: One HAL Chetak.

Weapons: One Bofors 40mm/60 gun at 120 rds/min to 5.5n miles; 10 km. May be replaced with a 76mm gun in due course. Has four 12.7mm machine guns.

Comments: First three vessels ordered in March 1987 from Korea Tacoma to an Ulsan Class design. Second four ordered in August 1987. The Korean-built ships were commissioned at Masan and then later sailed to India where the armament was fitted. Three ships, of a modified design called the Samar Class, have been built for the Coast Guard. These vessels are used for defense protection of offshore installations and patrol of the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). Immarsat can be fitted on the hangar roof. Potential for role change is considerable. First three vessels based at Mumbai, the next pair at Vizag and the last pair at Kochi.

INS Suvarna and INS Ranjit, a Kashin-II Class missile destroyer, proceeded to Mozambique on a diplomatic mission. On 25 June 2003, this pair of ships attended the 28th Independence anniversary celebrations of Mozambique and presented medicines to the Vice Minister of Health of Mozambique on board INS Suvarna. At the request of President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, who boarded these ships on 30 June 2003, the Indian Navy ships remained in the area to provide cover for the African Heads of States Union, which was held from July 4th to 12th. They also trained the Mozambique Navy and weaved bonds of friendship during their stay. The US Navy, with USS Curtis Wilbur and P-3C Orions anti-submarine warfare aircraft, began a Search and Rescue exercise off Chennai with INS Sukanya and an Indian Coast Guard vessel on 06 July 2003. In the same area, in the Bay of Bengal, four units of the Western Fleet from Mumbai were all set to conduct summer exercises with the combined Fleets and the other services.

INS Sharada returned to Naval Base, Kochi after completing a 3½ month-long deployment (Operation Sagittarius) covering 20,000 nautical miles in August 2002. She is the first Indian Navy vessel to carrying out such escort operations since the 1971 Indo-Pak War. She is also the first Indian Naval ship to participate in this operation off the coast of Malaysia and was involved in escorting high value vessels of the United States Navy, which included a nuclear-powered submarine and naval auxiliaries. The theatre of operations included the Andaman Sea, the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea. During her deployment, which began in April 2002, INS Sharada undertook 12 escort missions. While operating in international waters, she came across many warships of regional and foreign navies including aircraft carriers USS Kitty Hawk and FNS Charles De Gaulle and the amphibious assault ship USS Essex. The ship embarked an armed HAL Chetak helicopter to facilitate effective aerial surveillance around the high value vessels.

INS Sukanya was employed as the Presidential Yacht for the International Fleet Review by President K. Narayanan, on 17 February 2001. She reverted to her normal role on completion. INS Subhadra and INS Suvarna have been modified to carry the Dhanush stabilizer for the Prithvi missile. The helicopter deck of these vessels have been converted into a missile launch pad, which has been strengthened and a hydraulically-stabilised, rail-mounted platform installed along with a missile erector. Two missiles are housed in the helicopter hangar and wheeled out for launch, one after the other. A portable console fitted on board feeds the missile guidance parameters before launch. INS Sarayu was sold to the Sri Lankan Navy in 2000, to effectively patrol its coast and mainly to deter the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from bringing in arms & ammunition. The vessel, renamed as SLNS Sayura, was refitted with new armament before being delivered.

Abhay (Pauk II) Class

INS Akshay mid-sea on Catamaran - en route to Alibaug, the Gateway to Mandva Jetty in Mumbai on 07 May 2007. Image © Aakash VakilINS Abhay. Circa late-1980s. Image © Indian NavyThe Officers & Sailors of INS Agray man the rails as part of the mobile column making its way past the President's Ship during the review of the international fleet. Image © PH1 (NAO) Chris Desmond, USNCrew of INS Ajay cheer 'Jai' thrice, as the President of India reviews her during International Fleet Review 2001 at Mumbai. Image © Mrityunjoy Mazumdar 

Vessel Type: 1241PE ASW Corvette.

Names & Pennant Numbers with commission dates:
INS Abhay P33 (10 March 1989)
INS Ajay P34 (24 January 1990)
INS Akshay P35 (10 December 1990)
INS Agray P36 (30 January 1991) - in repair

Structure: Has a longer superstructure than the Pauk I Class, has larger torpedo tubes and improved electronics.

Displacement: 485 tons full load.

Dimensions: Length - 56 metres.
.................Beam - 10.2 metres.
.................Draft - 3.3 metres.

Main Machinery: Two diesel motors with 16,184 hp and 2 shafts. Another report states four engines.

Maximum Speed: 28 knots. 32 knots according to Jane's.

Maximum Range: 2400 miles at 14 knots.

Complement: 97 (incl. 7 officers). Jane's lists 32 (incl. 6 officers).

Radar: Air/Surface; One MR 352 Pozitiv-E (NATO: Cross Dome) radar at E/F band frequency.
.........Navigation; One Pechora radar at I-band frequency.
.........Fire Control; Refer to 'Weapons' sub-section.

Sonar: One Rat Tail VDS sonar (on transom); active/passive attack with high frequency.

Weapons: One quad launcher of the Strela-2M (SA-N-5) SAM, manual aiming with infra-red homing to 3.2n miles; 6 km at Mach 1.5 with a 1.5 kg warhead. Maximum altitude is at 2500 metres (8000 feet). Fire control is provided by a single MR-123 (NATO: Bass Tilt) radar at H/I-band frequency.

One AK-76/60 76mm gun with 85º elevation with 120 rds/min to 8.1n miles; 15 km. Also fitted with a 30mm gun with 3000 rounds a minute to 2 km.

Four 533mm (2 twin) torpedo tubes. Use the SET-65E; anti-submarine, active & passive homing torpedo to 8.1n miles; 15 km at 40 knots with a 205 kg warhead.

Two RBU 1200 five-tubed fixed with range of 1200 meters.

Countermeasures: Two PK-16 chaff launchers are used as decoys.


Agray P36 has been converted into a trials ship for new EW and other unspecified systems. The Positiv-E radome as well as torpedoes have been removed.

Modified Pauk II Class built in Russia for export. Original order was placed in late 1983, but completion of the first vessel was delayed by lack of funds and the orders for the others was not reinstated until 1987. A fifth of the class was cancelled. Classified as ASW vessels, their names are associated with former coastal patrol craft. All based at Mumbai as the 23 Patrol Vessel Squadron. The first two vessels were commissioned at Poti, Russia and INS Agray was commissioned at Riga, Russia.

On 06 February 2004, INS Agray suffered significant damage to its hull during a regular operational exercise in the Arabian Sea. None of the ship's personnel aboard were injured, however the accident resulted in flooding of the ship's engine room. Naval ships and aircraft in the vicinity were deployed to assist INS Agray and all personnel on board were safely evacuated. The cause of the accident is unknown, but unconfirmed reports state it was a torpedo misfire.