YEAR-END REVIEW – 2010
nation woke up to the threat from the sea in the wake of the Mumbai attacks of
November 2008. The Government has since initiated a slew of measures to beef up
coastal security and in the year gone by the Indian Navy, besides the Coast
Guard, witnessed much activity and expansion. The Mig-29K and the INS Shivalik were the biggest force multipliers in the Navy
during the year gone by. A large number of warships were also launched,
including the INS Tarkash stealth
frigate in Russia and INS Shakti fleet tanker in
Italy in the Indian Navy’s efforts to bolster its blue water capability.
The Navy’s anti-piracy operations continued reaping dividends during the year
gone by, making the sea lanes safer. Keeping up with India’s growing clout, the
Navy was the foremost among the three arms in outreach, conducting exercises
with foreign flotillas, the Naval ports hosting
flagships of various friendly nations and the Indian warships visiting distant
Indian Navy, being the nodal agency for Coastal Security among all maritime
stakeholders, established four Joint Operations Centres, - at Mumbai, Kochi, Visakhapatnam and Port Blair. Besides the Coast Guard and
the state Marine Police, other agencies including the Customs, Intelligence
Bureau and Ports Authorities are all networked with these centres. Also, each
coastal district has been placed under an Area Operations Centre for
coordinating coastal security activities.
Navy conducted 26 coastal exercises during the year involving other agencies to
achieve better synergy. In all 12
exercises were conducted on the West coast, ten on the East, two in Lakshadweep & Minicoy Islands
and two in Andaman & Nicobar archipelago.
Besides, 89 Awareness Campaigns were conducted throughout the year in a bid to
involve the large fishing community into the coastal security matrix.
Indian Navy also played a key role in obtaining approval of the National
Committee for Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security (NCSMCS), in April,
2010 for the National Maritime Domain awareness (MDA) Grid. The Navy later
formulated a Detailed Project Report for implementing it as a project of
national importance. When the common information grid would be created, it will
synergise and enable effective sharing of maritime related information among
all stakeholders, thereby leading to faster response by security agencies.
Indian Navy has deployed 23 ships by
rotation in the piracy-infested Gulf of Aden since October 23, 2008. To date
over 1,400 merchant vessels have been escorted safely, over 1200 of them from
about 50 other countries, and 26 piracy attempts foiled. The Indian Navy is
constantly engaged with other countries on capacity building and coordination
in efforts aimed at keeping open one of the busiest shipping channels around
the world and avoid choking of international trade,
Minister Shri AK Antony
inducted the air dominance fighter Mig-29K into the Indian Navy at INS Hansa, Vasco da Gama, Goa on 19th
February. The 4+ Generation multirole fighter jet, equipped with Beyond Visual Range (BVR) and guided
anti-ship Missiles and smart bombs, will eventually berth on the INS Vikramaditya, the Gorshkov
aircraft carrier, when it is likely to be delivered in 2012.
Shri Antony also commissioned INS Shivalik, the first of three
indigenously designed and built stealth frigates, at Mumbai on 29th
April. Equipped with Combat Management System, CMS-17, manufactured by the Defence PSU Bharat Electronics
Limited, Ghaziabad, the Shivalik class will be the mainstay frigates of the Navy’s
fleet in the first half of the 21st century.
During the year two Water Jet Fast
Attack Crafts were also commissioned, taking the total to eight of ten ordered.
the second of the three follow on Talwar class
stealth frigates being built by Yantar Shipyard,
Kaliningrad, Russia, was launched on 23rd June. The Tarkash will carry the Brahmos
missile in vertical launch mode, giving it 360 degrees manoeuvrability.
The warship, also equipped with SAM missiles, torpedoes and Russian built
anti-submarine helicopter Kamov Ka-31, will join the
Indian Navy’s fleet in the second half of 2011.
On 11th October the INS Shakti, second of the two Indian fleet tankers being built
by Fincantieri, was launched at Genoa, Italy. The
first, INS Deepak, is undergoing advanced sea trials before delivery to the
On 1st April INS Chennai,
the third ship of Project-15A, was launched at Defence
shipyard Mazagon Docks, Mumbai. Armed with Brahmos, the new ships of the Project-15 class will pioneer
the Indian Navy’s foray into sophisticated multifunction radar system.
During the year the Navy also
obtained approval to induct six submarines under Project-75 India and four
Landing Platform Dock (LPDs) ships under the ‘Buy and
Make Indian’ clause. The Indian Navy also concluded a contract to buy four
additional P-8Is, taking the total number of the US-origin maritime aircraft ordered
Exercises and Other Naval Operations
Indian Naval warships, INS Mysore, Tabar, Ganga and Aditya, sailed for South Africa to participate in the 2nd
IBSAMAR, the Joint Exercise of the Navies of India, Brazil and South Africa.
They formed part of the 11 warships that held manoeuvres
in waters off the coast of Durban from September 13-27, 2010.
Indian Navy’s Western Fleet held the 14th Malabar Joint Exercise
with the US Navy in the Arabian Sea, from 23rd April to 2nd
May. One Los Angeles class nuclear-powered submarine formed part of the US
Navy’s Seventh Fleet that took part in the exercise, envisaged under the
India-US Framework for Maritime Security Cooperation to achieve
interoperability, with the first such exercise held way back in 1992. The 7th
Milan, biennial exercise of the Navies of Asia-Pacific littoral states, was
held at Port Blair from August 3-8, 2010. Started in 1995, 12 countries
participated this year, the highest number so far, including Australia,
Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and
delegations from New Zealand, Vietnam and Brunei. The 7th Konkan Joint Exercise with the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy
was held from 26th July while the 20th SIMBEX annual
bilateral exercise with the Singapore Navy was held in the Andaman Sea and the
Bay of Bengal between April 3-16, 2010.
Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet deployed Guided Missile Destroyers INS Rana and Ranjit, fleet tanker INS
Jyoti and missile corvette INS Kulish
to South East Asia. The ships undertook passage exercises with the Navies of
Indonesia, Singapore and Australia.
Eight Marine Commandos
including two Officers visited Mauritius from 17th May to 4th
June, training 32 Special Forces personnel of the Mauritius National Coast
Guard in operations including heliborne. Earlier four
Marcos including an Officer trained 12 men of the Maldives National Defence Force commandos from April 15-26, 2010.
Indian Navy also executed
Operation ‘Raasta Saaf’
(Pathfinder) on 10th August in the wake of containers falling off MV
Chitra off Mumbai. The Escort Force surveyed the
route and ensured safe passage for vessels.
Foxtrot Class submarines, - INS Vela and Vagli,
commissioned in 1973 and ’74 respectively, bid adieu during the year. The Vagli, decommissioned on 9th December after more
than 36 years of service, was the last of the Foxtrot Class submarines operated
by the Indian Navy. The last of the Seaward Defence
Boats, T-58, was also decommissioned this year, in Chennai, rendering more than
25 years of service.
Sports – Solo Circumnavigation
‘Sagar Parikrama’, the first
Indian solo circumnavigation, was completed when Commander Dilip
Dhonde returned Mumbai on 19th May aboard
the sailing boat INS Mhadei. Cdr Dhonde’s
voyage began on August 19, 2009 and took him through 21,600 nautical miles, or
38,880 kms, around the world, during its 277 day
odyssey, overcoming very often the rough sea. Cdr Dhonde’s
feat can be appreciated by the fact that less than 300 people have succeeded in
the attempt so far.