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.

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.

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