To enhance its Blue Water capability, the Indian Navy opted to strengthen its submarine arm for which Request For Proposal (RFP) to acquire six more conventional submarines under Project 75(I) was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC). The project will cost around Rs. 80,000 crore.
Maiden Sea trials of Kalvari – First Scorpene Class Submarine:Under the Project 75 Scorpene programme six conventional submarines are being built in India with foreign collaboration. ‘Kalvari’, the first of the Scorpene class submarines, being built at the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd Mumbai (MDL), went to sea on 1 May under her own propulsion for the first sea trial, off the Mumbai coast. During the sortie, a number of preliminary tests on the propulsion system, Auxiliary Equipment and Systems, Navigation Aids, Communication Equipment and Steering gear were conducted. Various Standard Operating Procedures were also validated for this new class of submarine. The submarine is presently under going advanced/ deep dive trials and is likely to be commissioned in early 2017.
OPERATIONS AND EXERCISES: HUMANITARIAN AID & DISASTER RELIEF (HADR)
Assistance in Fire Fighting at DuvvadaSEZ, Visakhapatnam:A huge fire broke out from 12 Bio-diesel tanks of Biomax Company on 27 Apr. On request of State Administration, HQENC launched two aircraft for aerial reconnaissance and assessment of extent of fire. Navy’s Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) and an ambulance with medical teams were rushed to the site along with the fire tenders. 12 fire tenders were deployed.
Assistance to Sri-Lanka:In response to the request for assistance made by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi, announced that India would provide aid on emergency basis to help those affected by the floods and landslides in various parts of Sri Lanka. Accordingly, two Indian Navy warships, INS Sutlej and INS Sunayna, were deployed to Sri-Lanka on 20 Mayto provide assistance due to the calamity caused by the cyclone “Roanu”. The ships sailed from Kochi with 30-40 tons of relief material which included inflatable rafts, fresh water, medical supplies, clothing and other provisions necessary for disaster reliefoperations andreached Colombo harbour on 21 May. A Chetak helicopter was also deployed.
BILATERAL/ MULTILATERAL EXERCISES AND OVERSEAS DEPLOYMENT
To enhance India’s presence in the maritime arena/ across our area of responsibility/ interest, the Indian Navywas deployed extensively across the globe and conducted exercises with friendly foreign navies. Some of these are:-
Naseem-Al-Bahr:The Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman conducted the 10thbilateral maritime exercise Naseem-Al-Bahrfrom 22-27 Jan. Initiated in 1993, the exercise has matured over the years with increasing scope, complexity of operations and level of participation in the Arabian Sea.The IN ships INS Trikand andINS Trishul and RNOV Al-Shamikh, a corvette and RNOVAl-Seeb,a Fast Attack Craft of the Omani Navy participated.
IFR 2016-Passage Exercise:The International Fleet Review 2016, conducted at Visakhapatnam from 4-8 Feb, culminated with Indian and foreign Naval ships undertaking a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Bay of Bengal on 9 Feb. 54 ships that participated in IFR-16 sailed out from Visakhapatnam in the first ever Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with combined participation of foreign and Indian warships. The unprecedented scale and scope of the PASSEX are indicative of India’s growing stature in the maritime domain and the bridges that have been painstakingly built by the Indian Navy towards achieving the motto of the International Fleet Review in letter and spirit – ‘United through Oceans’.
Exercise MALABAR 2016: In consonance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and growing relations among India, US and Japan, IN ships Satpura, Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch participated in the 20th edition of Ex MALABAR-16 with the USNavy and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF). Harbour phase of 20th edition of the exercise was conducted from 10-13 June at Sasebo and the sea phase in the Pacific Ocean from 14-17 June.
Exercise RIMPAC :INS Satpura participated in the 25th edition of Exercise RIMPACoff Hawaii from 30 June- 4 Aug. The exercise was attended by 27 countries.Exercise RIMPAC is the largest multilateral naval exercise in the world and is held biennially in the Western Pacific Ocean. Indian Navy’sassociation withExRIMPAC commenced with participation as an ‘Observer’ in 2006, 2010 and 2012. In 2014, Indian Naval participation was enhanced with deployment of INSSahyadriin the 24th edition of the exercise. Participation in Ex RIMPAC-16 is a platform for multilateral operational interactions to increase interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations. The professional exchanges in harbour and diverse range of activities at sea, including complex surface, sub-surface and air operations will enable sharing of best practices and honing of operational skills.
Indo-Thai Co-ordinated Patrol (CORPAT): INS Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, along with a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, participated in the 22nd Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) from 19-27 Apr in the Andaman Sea.
ADMM Plus Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism :ADMM Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism is a multinational exercise under the aegis of ADMM Plus consortium. INS Airavat participated in the latest edition conducted in Brunei and Singapore from 1-9 May, with various drills and exercises in the South China Sea. During the exercise, the Indian Navy engaged with participating navies from Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Japan, Russia, Australia, Republic of Korea and US, through professional interactions in harbour and complex operations at sea.
Co-ordinated Patrol and India-Indonesia Bilateral Maritime Exercise:In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Indonesia and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, INS Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette, based under the Andaman and Nicobar Command, alongwith a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft, participated in the 28th India-Indonesia Coordinated Patrol and Second Bilateral Maritime Exercise, from 10-27 Oct in the Andaman Sea.
EXERCISE KONKAN 16: KONKAN 16, the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy was conducted from 5-16 Dec at Mumbai and Goa. Exercise KONKANwas institutionalised in 2004. The exercise hosted in rotation by both Navies, has grown in complexity, scale and intensity.
INDRA NAVY – 2016: The 9th edition of exercise INDRA NAVY, an annual bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Russian Navy was conducted in the Bay of Bengal from 14-21 Dec. The primary aim of the exercise was to increase inter-operability amongst the two navies and develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The scope of the exercise included wide-ranging professional interactions in harbour phase and a diverse canvas of operational activities across a spectrum of maritime operations at sea. INDRA NAVY is a bilateral maritime exercise and epitomizes the strategic relationship. Initiated in 2003, the exercise over the years has increased in scope and complexity of operations.
INDO-MYANMAR Co-ordinated Patrol (IMCOR):The Fourth Edition of India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) was undertaken from 13-16 Feb along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Andaman Sea. INS Saryu and INS Bitra along with Union of Myanmar Ships Aung Zeya and FAC 563 participated.
Deployment ofP-8 I to Seychelles for EEZSurveillance :The Indian Navy deployed a P-8 I Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft to Seychelles from 20-23 Mar for surveillance in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles. The Indian Navy has, in the past, undertaken surveillance missions in the Seychellois EEZ twice a year, by deploying IN ships. The last deployment was undertaken by ships of the 1st Training Squadron in Oct 2015. This is the first time that the P-8I aircraft was deployed to Seychelles.
INS Beas visits Doha, Qatar for International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX):INS Beas visited Doha, Qatar from 28 Mar to 2 Apr to participate in the fifth edition of biennial Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX).
Deployment to Male, Maldives: Western Fleet ships INS Vikramaditya, INS Mysore and INS Deepak undertook deployment to Male for a routine visit from 15 – 18 Feb.
Deployment to Mauritius: INS Tabar, a stealth frigate visited Port Louis, Mauritius from 10-13 Mar. The primary aim of the visit was to participate in the Mauritius National Day celebrations and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship.
Ships of First Training Squadron (1 Ts) visit Thailand and Sri Lanka:INS Tir, INS Sujata, Sail Training Ship (STS) SudarshinialongwithICGSVaruna, comprising the 1st Training Squadron (with under trainee officers/cadets) visited Phuket, Thailand and Colombo, Sri Lanka from 4-8 Apr and 15-19 Apr respectively as part of Overseas Deployment during Spring Term 16.
ALH detachment to Male:One Indian Naval Advanced Light Helicopter MK III has been deployed at Maldives. The helicopter is based at Kadhdhoo Island in LaamuAtol. The helicopter is assisting MNDF for undertaking Search & Rescue, Casualty Evacuation, Coastal Surveillance, Maritime Reconnaissance, Communication and Logistic Duties.
Visit of Indian Warships to Muscat, Oman:INS Delhi, INS Tarkash and INS Deepak visited Muscat from 21-24 May. The visit coincided with the visit of Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar from 20- 22 May. Our Navy ships also participated in passage exercise (PASSEX) with the Royal Navy of Oman on completion of the visit.
INSVMhadei sails to Mauritius/ Cape Town with an All Women Crew:Indian Naval Sailing Vessel Mhadei (INSVMhadei) with an all-women crew undertook two voyages to Port Louis, Mauritius in May-Jun and to Cape Town, South Africa in Nov-Dec. The boat was skippered by Lt Cdr Vartika Joshi (a Naval Constructor). These were the first two open-ocean voyages of the Navy’s all-women crew of Mhadei, who are currently training to undertake a circumnavigation of the globe in 2017. The sail boat is to participate in Cape to Rio race commencing on 1 Jan 2017.
Visit of Indian Warships to Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam:In a demonstration of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and Indian Navy’s increasing footprint and operational reach, INS Satpura and INS Kirch visited CamRanh Bay, Vietnam on a four day visit from 30 May to 3 Jun, as part of deployment of the Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea and the Western Pacific.
Visit of Indian Warships to Subic Bay, Philippines:In a demonstration of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and Indian Navy’s increasing footprint and operational reach, INS Sahyadri and INS Shakti visited Subic Bay on a three day visit from 30 May-2 Jun.
Indian Warships visited Port Kelang, Malaysia:INSSahyadri, INS Shakti and INS Kirch visited Port Kelang on 15 Jul on a four day visit.
Deployment of INS Satpura:In a demonstration of India’s commitment to peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and Indian Navy’s increasing footprint and operational reach, INS Satpura visited Port Majuro on a two day visit from 13 – 15 Aug, for an operational turn around as part of its deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean followed by visit to Pohnpei, Micronesia from 18-20 Aug and to Singapore on a four day visit from 31 Aug – 04 Sep.
Indian Warships to Port Victoria:In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Seychelles and maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, INS Kolkata, INS Trikand and INS Aditya visited Port Victoria on a two day visit from 26-28 Aug. The ships are part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai under the Western Naval Command.
Indian Warship Trikand visited Antsiranana, Madagascar:In a demonstration of India’s efforts to enhance co-operation with maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean, INS Trikand visited Antsiranana on a three day visit from 31 Aug-3 Sep, as part of deployment of the Western Fleet to the countries on the East Coast of Africa and Island nations in the Western Indian Ocean.The ship is part of the Indian Navy’s Western Fleet based at Mumbai under the Western Naval Command.
Indian Warships visit Port Louis, Mauritius and Mombasa, Kenya:In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Mauritius and Kenya to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, INS Kolkata and INS Aditya visited Port Louis on a three day visit from 1-4 Sep and Mombasa, Kenya from 10- 13 Sep.
Indian Warship Trikand visits Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania and Maputo, Mozambique:In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Tanzania and Mozambique, INSTrikand visited Dar-Es-Salaam from 6-9 Sep and Maputo, Mozambique, from 17-20 Sep as part of its deployment to the East Coast of Africa and Island nations.
Western Fleet Ships visit South Africa:In a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with South Africa and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region, INS Kolkata, INS Trikand and INS Aditya visited Durban on 20 Sep on a three day visit.
INS Sumitra visits Surabaya, Indonesia and Suva, Fiji:In pursuit of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and outreach to friendly countries, the Indian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Sumitra, called on at Surabaya, Indonesia on a two day visit from 10-12 Oct and Suva, Fiji from 26-29 Oct.
First Training Squadron Visited Phuket, Thailand, Yangon, Myanmar and Chittagong, Bangladesh:INS Tir, INS Sujata, Sail Training Ship (STS) SudarshinialongwithICGSVaruna, comprising the 1st Training Squadron, visited Phuket, Thailand from 27–31 Oct as part of their Overseas Deployment during Autumn Term 16. The Training Squadronalso visited Yangon, Myanmar from 02–06 Nov and Chittagong, Bangladesh from 11–15 Nov.
INS Sumitravisited Sydney Port, Australia:In pursuit of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and outreach to friendly countries, the Indian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Sumitra, visited Sydney, Australia on a three day visit from 4-7 Nov.
INS Shardul visited Port Louis, Mauritius and Port Victoria, Seychelles:INSShardul visited Port Louis from 23 Nov on a three day visit followed by a visit to Port Victoria, Seychelles. INS Shardul, an amphibious ship of the Indian Navy, was deployed in the Southern Indian Ocean in keeping with the vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region.
IFR at Auckland, New Zealand:Indian Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Sumitra, visited Auckland, New Zealand on a six day visit from 16-22 Nov. The ship represented the Indian Navy at the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Review 2016.
COMMISSIONING/ LAUNCHING/ TRIALS OF SHIPS, SUBMARINES AND AIRCRAFT
INS Kadmatt:INS Kadmatt, second ship of Project 28 (P-28) class Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited, Kolkata, was commissioned at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 7 Jan.
Launch of Yard 2097/2098/2099:The sixth, seventh and eighth ships of LCU MK IV project, were launched in Mar, Nov and Dec at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Kolkata.
De-Induction of Sea Harrier and Induction of MiG-29K Fighter Aircraft in INAS 300:The Sea Harriers of Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS 300) were given a farewell at INS Hansa, Goa on 11 May. The rich legacy of Sea harriers would continue as the baton was passed on to the crew of MiG-29K squadron who have been successful in seamlessly integrating the fighters with INS Vikramaditya in the shortest possible time.
INS Tarmugli:The Indian Navy commissioned the highly manoeuvrable Fast Attack Craft INS Tarmugli at a ceremony at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam on 23 May. Based at Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh), the craft would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast.
Launch of GRSE YARD 2112 (FO-WJFAC):The fourth in the series of Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (FO-WJFAC) for the Indian Navy was launched on 30 Jun at a ceremony at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata.
Mormugao – Second ship of Project 15B launched:Another significant milestone in the indigenous warship design and construction programme of India was achieved with the launch of the Guided Missile Destroyer, Mormugao,the second ship of Project 15B,on 17 Sep, at Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai. With a launch weight of 2844 tonnes, the vessel made its first contact with water during the launching ceremony.
INS Chennai:INS Chennai, a P 15A Guided Missile Destroyer, was commissioned into the Navy by the Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar at the Naval Dockyard, Mumbai on 21 Nov. The event marked the formal induction into the Navy of the third and the last of the three ‘Kolkata’ class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai.