Monday, August 16, 2010

Indian Naval History

Active                             August 14, 1947 - Present
Country                             India
The Indian Navy operates four Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the rank of Vice Admiral.
Western Naval Command     :   Vice Admiral Vinod Bhasin
Eastern Naval Command       :   Vice Admiral Anup Singh
Southern Naval Command    :   Vice Admiral K N Sushil
Far Eastern Naval Command   :          Vice Admiral D K Joshi

56,000        Personnel
~150          Ships
250            Aircraft
1               Aircraft Carrier
1               Amphibious assault ship
19             Dock landing ships
8               Destroyers
13             Frigates
15             Submarines
24             Corvettes
28             Patrol ships
8                Minsweepers
10              Replenishment Tankers
2               Water Carriers
1                Hospital Ship
8                Survey ships
1                Research Vessel
              Training Vessels
2                Sail Training Vessels
1                Yacht
2               Torpedo Recovery Vessels
1                Diving Support Ship
3                Diving Tenders
18             Harbour tugs
2                Ocean Tugs

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Bangladesh Liberation War

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

Indo-Pakistani War of 1999

Tsunami Relief Operations


India has a maritime history dating back to 7,600 years. The first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BCE during the Indus Valley Civilization, near the present day Mangrol harbour on the Gujarat coast.
The earliest known reference to an organisation devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BCE. 
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maratha and Kerala fleets were expanded, and became the most powerful Naval Forces in the subcontinent, defeating European Navies at various times (See the Battle of Colachel). The fleet review of the Maratha navy took place at the Ratnagiri fort in which the ships Gurabs, Galbat, Pal & small ships called as " Sangmeshwari" participated. The 'Pal' was a three masted fighter with guns peeping on the broadsides. Kanhoji Angre and Kunjali Marakkar, the Naval chief of Saamoothiri, were two notable naval chiefs of the period.
Sea lanes between India and neighbouring lands were the usual form of trade for many centuries, and are responsible for the widespread influence of Indian Culture on other societies. Powerful navies included those of the MauryaSatavahanaChola,VijayanagaraKalingaMaratha and Mughal empires. The Cholas excelled in foreign trade and maritime activity, extending their influence overseas to China and Southeast Asia.

Colonial Era

The British Indian Navy was established by the British while India was a colony in 1830 as Her Majesty's Indian Navy (earlier by the East India Company in 1612 as Honourable East India Company's Marine) .

The first Indian to be granted a commission was Sub Lieutenant D.N Mukherji who joined the Royal Indian Marine as an engineer officer in 1928. Indian sailors started a rebellion also known as The Royal Indian Navy mutiny, in 1946 on board ships and shore establishments which spread all over India. A total of 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors were involved in the rebellion. When India became a republic on 26 January 1950, it became known as the Indian Navy, and its vessels as Indian Naval Ships (INS). On 22 April 1958 Vice Admiral R. D. Katari assumed office as the first Indian Chief of the Naval Staff.

Indo-Pakistan Wars

The Navy has been involved in two wars between India and Pakistan. Its activity in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 largely involved patrolling of the coast. 

The Pakistani Navy attacked the Indian coastal city of Dwarka and returned to their home port, although they did not achieve any strategic objective. However, the Navy did play a significant role in Operation Trident: the bombing of Karachi harbour in the 1971 war, on 4 December 1971. The attack was a success, and 4 December has been celebrated as Navy Day ever since. The attack was followed by Operation Python before the center of conflict shifted to the eastern India-Pakistan border and the Bay of Bengal. To show solidarity with its ally Pakistan, the United States sent Task Force 74 led by the USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal. A task force led by INS Vikrant was stationed to counter the Enterprise task force; Soviet Navy submarines also trailed the U.S. task force. A confrontation was averted when the U.S. task force moved towards South East Asia, away from the Indian Ocean.

1999-2001 Operations

During the 1999 Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan, the Western and Eastern fleets were deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea, as a part of Operation Talwar. The intent was to safeguard India's maritime assets from a potential Pakistani naval attack, as also to deter Pakistan from escalating to a full-scale war by blocking India's sea-trade routes.Indian Navy's aviators and commandos also fought along side Indian Army personnel during the Kargil War.
The Indian Navy was a part of the joint forces exercises, Operation Parakram, during the 2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff. More than a dozen warships were deployed.
Later in 2001, the Indian Navy provided escort to United States warships traveling through the Strait of Malacca to take part in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Disaster relief

2004 Indian Ocean earthquake

During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake crisis, the Indian Navy deployed 27 ships, 19 helicopters, 6 naval aircraft and over 5000 Naval personnel in disaster relief operations. These deployments were a part of various area-specific relief operations including Operation Madath in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil NaduOperation Sea Waves in the Andaman and Nicobar IslandsOperation Castor in MaldivesOperation Rainbow in Sri Lanka and Operation Gambhir in Indonesia.This was one of the largest relief mobilisations that the Indian Navy had undertaken. Indian Naval groups were able to start large scale rescue operations in neighbouring countries within 12 hours from the time of the tsunami, and was the first foreign navy to reach the affected areas.
The quick deployment of forces during relief operations was a testing ground for the Navy's amphibious, as well as force projection capabilities.Deficiencies in the response led to modernisation of the naval forces after the tsunami, including the acquisition of Landing Platform Docks (LPD) like the INS Jalashwa (formerly the USS Trenton), as well as smaller amphibious vessels. Part of the Eastern Fleet, the Jalashwa is the second-largest ship currently in-service with the Indian Navy.

Operation Sukoon

During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, the Indian Navy evacuated 2,286 Indian nationals and expatriates, including 436 Sri Lankan and 69 Nepali citizens, from war-torn Lebanon. This operation was named Operation Sukoon, meaning "Peace and tranquility". In the year 2006, ten naval doctors from India served for 102 days on USNS Mercy and conducted about 10 medical camps in Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and East Timor. Indian Navy has also provided relief materials to survivors of cyclones in Bangladesh and Myanmar.Two ships from the Indian Navy carried the first international aid material for the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

Anti-piracy operations

In October 1999, a coordinated effort by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard led to the release of a hijacked Japanese cargo ship, MVAlondra Rainbow, from pirates.
Piracy off the coast of Somalia has caused significant concerns in India as most of its sea-trade routes pass through the region. The Indian Navy responded to these concerns by deploying the frigate INS Tabar in the Gulf of Aden in October 2008. Within a month of its deployment, the Tabar had prevented attempts by pirates to board two cargo ships and also destroyed a pirate "mother ship". As of 11 November 2008, the frigate had escorted 35 ships safely through the pirate-infested region. The pirates had hijacked a fishing trawler from Thailand and made it their mothership. There were also reports of India deploying destroyer INS Mysore to augment the frigate INS Tabar in anti-piracy operations. On 21 November 2008 India was granted permission to enter Somalian territorial waters to intercept suspected pirate vessels. 23 pirates were arrested by Indian Navy while attempting to hijack a merchant ship near the Gulf of Aden. Anti-piracy patrols were carried out after a request was made by the Seychelles government, resulting in the arrest of nine pirates. Further ships has been send to give a boost to anti-piracy operations. While preventing a pirate attack on a Liberian vessel MV Maud, two pirates were killed and the remaining six were apprehended. On 7 December 2009, the Indian Navy successfully repulsed a pirate attack on a US-owned tanker in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia coast. The Indian Navy was awarded by the U.N for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. By June 2010, Indian Navy had escorted about thousand ships of fifty nations in the Gulf of Eden.

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