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Old 1st March 2015, 22:17   #1
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Default Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy - INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra classes of Frigates


A Photo Essay.


This is a narration of how the Indian Navy's Design Office working with Mazagon Docks developed its own designs of warships and went in 50 years from the first baby step to now simultaneously building an aircraft carrier and a nuclear submarine both designed in India. This is the story of what organizations like the Navy, ISRO and the Department of Atomic Energy did right on indigenization that others like the IAF, DRDO & HAL lost out on (but could still catch up). This is a simple narration of facts and not a critique of any department or Armed Force. The views expressed are my personal ones. Data and facts are from my library of books.


Abbreviations & Terms: ASW - Anti-submarine Warfare; Fathom - 6 feet = 1 fathom, a measure of sea depth; INS - Indian Naval Ship; Knots - 1 nautical mile per hour; Nautical mile = 1.852 kms; SAM - Surface to Air Missile; SSM - Surface to Surface Missile; SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) - an acoustic device that locates underwater objects by pinging sound waves and listening to the echo;


Gratitude to @torquecurve for his valuable contribution and for vetting the article thoroughly. Dear torquecurve thank you for your time and patience.


In the early 1960s India decided to learn how to build its own warships. We looked to Britain as our Navy was equipped wholly by British made warships and we were familiar with the operating protocol and engineering practices. We decided to build frigates. A frigate is a medium-sized, ocean-going, general purpose warship and the classic maid of all work in any Navy. It usually has weapon systems that excel in one of the three dimensions and are adequate in the other two. The three dimensions being air, surface and sub-surface. In BHP-speak the equivalent of a frigate would be cars like the SX4, Verna, City or in the world of trucks the ubiquitous Tata 1210 carrier.


I hope you enjoy the photo essay with its annotations and captions.


Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1a-whitby.jpg
#A INS Talwar of the British 'Whitby' class. Purchased from the United Kingdom in 1960. This was a general purpose frigate with emphasis on anti-submarine warfare. We bought a pair - INS Talwar and INS Trishul, for Rs 10 crores a piece (US$ 20MM in those days; US$=INR 5/- !!). We found this to be a very reliable ship with excellent sea-keeping qualities in rough weather and tireless type Y-100 steam turbine engines and an ability to spend several weeks at sea. So when in 1963 the Government of India took a decision to build a naval warship under license the Navy sensibly said let's look at the Whitby class or an improved version of it.



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#B The British were willing to help us license build. They offered their 'Tribal' class which was powered by the then revolutionary combination of Steam & Gas Turbines and had a then new bedstead long range early warning radar. The British expected the 'Tribals' to be the way of the future. Steam turbines were for cruising and gas turbines for rapid acceleration.



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#C But the Indian Navy said no thank you we would like to license build the 'Leander' class which has the same hull as the Whitby, an improved version (Y-160) of the propulsion and with a modernized weapons and sensor package. The Royal Navy (as the British Navy is called) was constructing the Leander class in parallel with the Tribal class. This decision to go with the Leander was a wise one. The British Leander class proved to be one of the most successful frigate classes since WW2 built by any nation and 48 ships were built to this design serving with (eventually) 8 navies. The Tribal class in photo #B above proved to be less successful and only 8 were built and none were exported.



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#D.1 And so INS Nilgiri was laid down in 1966, at Mazagon Docks, Mumbai to the 'Leander' design. She was launched in 1968 and commissioned in 1972. She was the first major warship to be built in India. The project was led by Mr. Homi Sethna. His team comprised of three bright young Naval officers deputed by the Navy - Commander Prakash Gour (Weapons, Sensors & Electrics), Commander KM Acharya (Engines & machinery) and Commander AN Thukral (Hull & Structures). All were young men in their early to mid thirties. The Head of Shipbuilding at Mazagon Docks was Mr. Dotiwala one of the first Indians to train in the specialized field of ship design. The Royal Navy sold the design and Yarrow Shipbuilders, UK and Vickers, UK provided the know-how and training. The Navy worked in partnership with Mazagon Docks and did not adopt an attitude of a customer-vendor equation. They chose to work together to build national capability. Photo: Personal archives



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1d.2-launch.jpg
#D.2 INS Nilgiri being launched on the slipway at Mazagon Docks, Mumbai 1968. Note the streamlined shape of the hull. Warships are built of a special steel - in this case the plating being 28mm to 14mm thick.Photo: Personal archives



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1d.3-commissioning.jpg
#D.3 Commissioning in 1972 by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi standing here in front of the 50 tonne forward gun mounting of INS Nilgiri. The ship cost Rs 20 crores (US$ 27MM in those days) - Rs 15 crore to build and Rs 5 crore as royalty fees to the British. A sound long term investment. Mazagon Docks in those days was led by Rear Admiral BA Samson a very effective leader of men and matters. He is the father of the famous danesue Leela Samson. Another person who deserves special mention is Mr. HC Sarin an IAS officer with vision. He was the Defence Secretary in the 1960s and provided the Government umbrella under which the Navy could proceed full steam with this project with limited bureaucratic interference. Photo:Personal archives



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1e-nil.-line.jpg
#E Line diagramme of INS Nilgiri. Armament - twin 115mm guns forward for surface engagements, range ~ 18 kms, shell weight 28 kgs; 2 x 20mm Oerlikons for local defense; Seacat guided missile for short range air defense, range 5 kms, 32 missiles carried; Limbo 3 barrel anti-submarine mortar, range 1000 metres, fired a pattern of 3 depth charges with a variable depth setting, 51 depth charges typically carried; Alouette helicopter to launch anti-submarine torpedoes & depth charges. Nilgiri had several sensors the most prominent ones were a long range early warning radar that could detect a ship 50 kms away and an aircraft at high altitude over 200 kms away, a surface cum air attack radar, a hull mounted search & attack sonar and lastly a variable depth sonar at the stern that could be trailed deep undersea to detect submarines lurking beneath acoustic and thermal layers. Plus it carried a happy load of effective electronic counter measures equipment for its time. She was the first ship in our Navy to carry a modern early warning radar (of such long range), a variable depth sonar and a frigate mounted helicopter.



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1f-himgiri.jpg
#F The contract involved license production of the radars and associated equipment. In 1967 the British private manufacturers of the radar systems said no - you shall buy them from us - we will not give you the design - and the Royal Navy could not push them. Those were different times. Ours was a relatively small economy, the twilight of the British Empire still flickered and we did not quite have the clout we could exercise today. The Navy was not to be bullied. A young intrepid Naval Officer Lieutenant Commander JJ Baxi, barely 31 years old then, figured we could approach the Dutch and he led the project on this. We went to the Dutch who had a more advanced family of Signaal radars and were willing to gives us license production. And the Dutch were also license building the Leander frigates for themselves and had integrated these radars into the design and interfaced them with the weapon platforms. And so the second vessel INS Himgiri emerged in 1974 with more modern solid state Dutch radars for search & fire control. The British were not pleased but our contract allowed us to switch equipment. Lieutenant Commander Baxi later rose to Flag rank and went on to become Chairman of BEL (Bharat Electronics Ltd). Photo Source: Personal archives



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1g.jpg
#G INS Nilgiri was followed, in 1974 to 1978, by INS Himgiri, INS Udaygiri and INS Dunagiri - named for mountain peaks and ranges. Length 372', Beam (or width) 43', draught (or depth of hull/propellers) 18'. Full load displacement ~3000 tonnes. Fuel carried, ~460 tonnes*. Power - 30,000 hp steam turbines (sustained output rating) driving twin shafts, twin propellers & twin rudders. Maximum speed, 28.5 knots (53 kmph). Range 3900* nautical miles @ 15 knots. Crew ~270 [*estimates]. BHPians note the power to weight ratio of 10 hp per tonne. That is like a Camry with a 15 hp engine or an Alto with a 8 hp engine. The water carries the weight of the ship (remember Archimedes) and due to the non-compressibility of the fluid ships are not designed to go very fast and the engine power is more for shearing through the water than pulling the weight. Photo Source:Bharat Rakshak.com



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1h-alouetteiii.jpg
#H The 'Giri's as they were called carried an Alouette III light helicopter. Manufactured under license, by HAL, from Aerospatiale France. This was a useful machine that was used to deliver torpedoes and depth charges against submarines located by the ship's sonars. It also served as a forward air control machine. Though effective for its time it was small & light and for the future the Navy wanted more.



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1i1seaking.jpg
#I.1 The Navy was already flying the Westland Seaking anti-submarine heavy helicopter off INS Vikrant (then our only aircraft carrier). The Seaking is an integrated ASW package with sensors + weapons + fire control all integrated into a helicopter with range and endurance. Next step was to modify the Nilgiri design to incorporate the capable Seaking helicopter. Later Seaking models had both anti-submarine and anti-ship capability making it the most important part of the weapons package. Plus its ability to fly around meant that the ship could exercise dominance over a radius of over 200 kms around itself. Photo Source:Bharat Rakshak.com



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#I.2 The Seaking weighs ~9500 kgs all up, is powered by two Rolls Royce Gome Turboshaft engines together putting out 3320 shp, has a cruise speed of 208 kmph and an operational endurance of 2 to 3.5 hours depending on mission profile. It carries homing torpedoes and depth charges against submarines and the surface skimming Sea Eagle anti-ship missile with a range of 110 kms. Photo shows launch of 2 Sea Eagle long range anti-ship missiles. Photo Source $$



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#I.3 Seaking hovering and lowering its dunking sonar. The sonar is lowered to variable depths from several fathoms to about 150 to 200 fathoms (Sea depth is measured in fathoms. 1 fathom = 6 feet) to search for enemy submarines by sending out sound waves and 'listening' for the echo. The sonar also operates in the passive i.e. 'listening only' mode which enables to helicopter to listen for the soft sounds of the submarines propeller without the enemy knowing of the eavesdropping. Well equipped helicopters especially when acting in pairs are more effective against submarines than surface ships alone.



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1j-taragiri.jpg
#J The Designers of the Indian navy, called Constructors in naval parlance, re-worked the original Nilgiri design to incorporate a Seaking capable flight deck, ASW torpedoes, a Bofors ASW mortar, two new sonars and a new indigenous anti-submarine sensor- weapon fire control package. The Chief Designer of the Navy those days was Mr. S.Paramanandhan a civilian officer of great intellect and common sense. We owe a lot to him. He remained Chief Designer from the 1960s to the early 1980s which is the time period of this narration and is considered the doyen amongst naval constructors in India. This weapon & sensor package was controlled by India's first home designed computer assisted action information system produced in 1979 under the leadership of Prakash Gour (now a Captain) who had helped build Nilgiri 7 years earlier. In the 1970s we had limited electronics competence and India's great software industry was 10 years in the future. The Navy and Tata Electric developed this together. Gour later went on to Flag rank and built the facilities that housed our first nuclear submarine INS Chakra which we leased from the Soviets in the 1980s. As you will notice the Navy kept control of the development in-house with its own Constructors and engineers all in uniform - the DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organization), its scientific bureaucracy and their politics was not allowed in and the Navy went step by step. No disrespect meant to DRDO here. These are the facts. Photo Source:Bharat Rakshak.com



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#K Photo showing a Seaking helicopter landing on the deck of INS Taragiri. Hangar has been collapsed forward to increase deck space available for landing. Note the large size of the helicopter compared to the deck. This landing is photographed in calm seas. Now imagine the same in rough seas and worse at night with the ship and helicopter both being tossed around. Having tasted success in modifying and upgrading the basic Nilgiri design the Navy and Mazagon Docks worked together to make a bold step forward which took shape as the "Godavari class". Photo Source $$



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#L But first a diversion. In the 1970s we purchased from USSR 3 vessels of the 'Nanuchka' class. These were small punchy ships packed to the gills with guided weapons on a small hull - medium range Surface to Surface anti-ship missiles + medium range anti-aircraft missiles (with some anti-missile capability against anti-ship missiles of the 1970s) - and all of this integrated into a single automated weapon suite. Due to overloading the hull of the Nanuchka's was not so stable but the weapon systems were superlative and far better than anything our two adversaries could come up with then (and for a lot later). Nanuchka's were corvettes i.e. one step junior to a frigate in size and range but they carried the armament that would credit a frigate. Think of a Tata Bolt fitted with the engine and power train of a BMW 3!Photo Source $$



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1m-godavari.jpg
#M So the Navy decided to move one step up the ship design chain by marrying the proven and reliable hull & propulsion of the Nilgiri with the weapon systems of the Nanuchka and the Seaking carrying capability of Taragiri. All this meant the need for a larger hull. Hull design is a complex activity because we still do not know everything about hydrodynamics and flowing water behaves in ways we still do not understand fully. The Naval Designers led by Captain NS Mohan Ram, an absolutely brilliant officer, took the Nilgiri design and expanded it by ~10% in all three axis increasing displacement by ~33% with exactly the same hydrodynamic hull shape. Naval Headquarters was uncertain but gave its young officers the chance to prove their ideas by thoroughly testing a scale model in Netherlands. Hydrodynamics is more complex and lesser known than aerodynamics. The Navy discovered to its joy that not only was the enlarged hull equally stable it actually needed ~10% less horsepower to achieve the same speed. What more can you want - bigger hull, 33% more weight carrying capacity and 10% less power for the same speed - the new hull had a superior wave pattern and wake (turbulence left behind the ship) that led to this efficiency. This led to the Godavari class described in the following photographs. The first vessel INS Godavari was built, at Mazagon Docks, between 1978 and 1983. Photo Source $$



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1n-line.jpg
#N Line diagramme of INS Godavari and her sister ships INS Ganga and INS Gomati. Moving from fore to aft or right to left its weapon systems are - (i) 57mm dual purpose guns for surface & air engagements housed in a fully automatic turret. Effective Range against aircraft ~5 kms, against ships ~10 kms. Rate of fire 240 rounds per minute. (ii) The Styx Surface to Surface anti-ship missile - 4 were mounted - has a useful shore bombardment capability. Its 500 kgs warhead ensures that a near miss could also cause severe damage to the adversary. Range ~74 kms - as the crow flies that's Central Delhi to Meerut or Chembur to Lonavala. (iii) The SAN-4 Surface-to-Air guided missile. Range 12 kms. The missiles & its twin arm launcher lie flush under the deck and hence protected from the weather and sea water. When needed to fire the arms pop up and launch the missile. (iv) 4 twin mountings of 30mm guns providing 360 degrees cover. These are rapid fire short range weapons to take on aircraft that get too close. The mountings each fired 1000 rounds per minute of a large milk-bottle sized shell. (v) Two triple mountings for 324mm torpedoes. One mounting on port (left) and the other on starboard (right) sides. Anti-submarine guided weapon with a range of 6.5 kms. (vi) And finally the piece de resistance the two Seaking helicopters that are equipped to address threats from submarines and ships.



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1o-godavari.jpg
#O Details of the Godavari class. Length 414' Beam 48'. Full load displacement ~4000 tonnes. Propulsion Steam Turbines driving two propellers, 30,000 shp. Maximum speed 29.5 knots (54 kmph). Range ~ 4500 nautical miles (estimate). Endurance 45 to 60 days at sea. Crew ~350 The Godavari's were fitted after commissioning with the Indian designed hull sonar called APSOH. More on this under #T below. Unlike a car or an aircraft a warships engines are meant to run at maximum or close to maximum output for days if not weeks on end especially if they are steam turbines. The power is transmitted to shafts through gearboxes the size of 4 Godrej steel almirahs which convert the turbines input at ~8000 to 10,000 RPM to the propellers output at between 25 to 200 RPM. The Navy developed its own hardware and software interface computers to marry the Soviet systems with Western ones. This was a most complex task not undertaken elsewhere in the world. We went up this hard road for our own geo-strategic reasons. This led to developing expertise that stands us in good stead today. Photo Source:Bharat Rakshak.com



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1p-fore.jpg
#P Modernization of the Godavari class with Israeli SAMs. Photo Source $$



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1q.1.jpg
#Q.1



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#Q.2 Photo Source $$



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#R Godavari, Ganga and Gomati sailing abreast. Sadly budget constraints limited production to only 3 vessels when the industrial capability to build 8 or more existed. But the effort was not in vain. The Navy was pleased with this low drag, stable and capacious hull and decided to modernize some parts of the sensor and weapons suites while retaining the hull, the propulsion and the auxiliary machinery. With some modernization (see #P) all three vessels continue to give good service 28 to 32 years after they were commissioned. And they are likely to serve for a further 5 to 8 years. The Godavari's have an endurance of 45 to 60 days at sea provided the fuel can be topped up. These long sea legs are useful because a warship is by definition a weapon of endurance…..a national asset that can often play a big role by simply being at the right place and showing the flag…..saying, "I don’t want to bite you but I will if you do something stupid…" Photo Source $$



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1s-betwa.jpg
#S The Brahmaputra class followed the Godavari's in the 1990s with significant upgrades in the air and surface weapons and number of missiles. Due to the shortfalls in weapon indigenization in India by certain other Government departments the Navy continued with procuring weapon systems from overseas and integrating them locally with hardware and software from both BEL and the Navy's own in-house electronics integration teams. Because we chose to stick with machinery we manufactured locally the Brahmaputra class are propelled by the same steam turbines that moved INS Nilgiri. Our Brahmaputra class along with the Chinese 'Luzhou' class of destroyers were the last warships of a major Navy to be built with conventional steam turbines. The Chinese chose steam turbines for the same reason.



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1t-apsoh.jpg
#T The Brahmaputra class became the second class of warships to carry the indigenously developed and manufactured medium range panoramic sonar. The sonar is a submarine hunting device that locates a submarine by pinging a sound wave and measuring the return echo. Western sonars which were tuned for temperate waters did not perform well in our tropical conditions. The Navy developed what is called the APSOH - Advanced Panoramic SOnar Hull. The project was led by Captain AJ Paulraj with support from the National Oceanographic & Physical Laboratory. The sonar developed was very successful and its improved versions continue to be fitted under the hulls of all Indian warships even today. For his contribution to the nation he received the Padma Bhushan. These sonars were later retrofitted onto the Godavari trio. Paulraj is now a Professor in USA



Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1u.jpg
#U These foundations of going step by step and avoiding grandiose plans has enabled the Navy to today be designing its own aircraft carrier the new INS Vikrant which hopefully should join the fleet in 2018 or 2019. Photo above shows the Shivalik class successor to the Brahmaputra class. By this time in the current decade the designers had enough confidence to leap frog to a stealth frigate design - it took time, there were a lot of delays that would not happen in a European country but we they got there eventually in good order. Shivalik deserves another thread.



Why has the Navy or for that matter ISRO and Department of Atomic Energy succeeded on the journey of indigenization where HAL, DRDO and IAF have failed. The reason in my opinion has been the total involvement of the Navy in the entire process of developing the national industrial capability in warship design and construction - design, production, vendor development, inspection, testing and making mistakes and re-tracing your steps and starting over again. So when road blocks came, as they will, the Navy could take a call on what design compromise or modification it could live with. Also it sent its best brains to work hand in hand with the public sector shipyards to actually build the ships especially in the initial 25 odd years. In the Air Force and the Army the situation was the reverse. It was a vendor-customer relationship with DRDO and HAL. The approach was I want a Mig-21 category aircraft or a T-72 type of battle tank whether it is from HAL/DRDO or from Russia. Because they themselves had no design or construction responsibility the IAF and the Army tended to treat the nascent fledgling (and struggling) Indian industry at par with their corresponding designers and builders in the international arena. That lack of working hand in hand has contributed to the LCA taking 30 years to reach limited operational testing and the Arjun battle tank taking about 25 years to reach the Armoured Corps. Of course the story is not that simple with HAL and DRDO having fully played their part in losing the confidence of the IAF and Army in their repeated inability to deliver on commitments of quality and schedule. Fortunately we have some happy stories with the Navy and ISRO.



What we have learnt to do is to design and build a warship and successfully integrate weapons, sensors and propulsion machinery from different foreign suppliers. We make some of the equipment ourselves but import a lion's share. It will take us another 40 years with large orders to develop our home grown weapon systems. Forty years in the life of a nation is but a moment. In the early 1980s Indira Gandhi asked the Navy to do a study on what it would take to develop our own nuclear submarine. This was when we had not even built a submarine ever let alone a nuclear one. Vice Admiral Subimal Mukherjee, then the Vice Chief did an honest study and explained it will take us 35 years at least and Madame Gandhi said, "then Admiral we have no time to lose. Lets start right away!" It takes a leader of stature to think of the next generation. And today INS Arihant, our first indigenously designed & built nuclear submarine, may join the fleet in a year's time. Mukherjee's assessment was spot on.


Officers such as Sarin, Samson, Homi Sethna, AJ Paulraj, NS Mohan Ram, Prakash Gour, KM Acharya, AR Thukral, JJ Baxi, S.Paramanandhan and others like them are amongst the silent heroes of our country who made contributions that are of immense importance to India. Jai Hind.


Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-1v.jpg
Photo Source: Wikipedia


References:

Transition to Triumph, Indian Navy 1965 to 1975 by Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani; Lancer Publications, 2000 (part of the official history of the Indian Navy) (Photo Source marked $$)
Transition to Eminence, The Indian navy 1976 to 1990 by Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani; Lancer Publications, 2000 (part of the official history of the Indian Navy) (Photo Source marked $$)
The Indian Navy, a Photo Essay by Rear Admiral Raja Menon; Published by Naval Headquarters, 2000(Photo Source marked $$)
The Indian Navy, An Illustrated History; Published by Naval Headquarters, 1989(Photo Source marked $$)
'Fly Navy', An Illustrated History of Naval Aviation by Pushpinder Singh; The Society for Aerospace Studies, 2006
Carrier Aviation, Air Power Directory; AIR Time Publishing 2001
The Encyclopedia of World Sea Power by Chris Bishop; Aerospace Publishing Ltd, 1988
The World's Navies by Chris Chant; Publisher Chartwell Books Inc, 1979

Last edited by V.Narayan : 3rd March 2015 at 19:17.
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Old 4th March 2015, 09:51   #2
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Default re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing, rating it 5 stars!
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Old 4th March 2015, 10:15   #3
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Ships are not my cup of tea, but I'm making an exception on this thread; lovely write-up, beautiful presentation & very organized narration that even a child can understand. This shows the dedication & your flair for helping everyone to understand in a very simple way.

Fantastic write-up & well deserved 5* rating from my end
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Old 4th March 2015, 10:38   #4
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Thanks sir for sharing this amazing information on the ships that protect our maritime boundaries.
Just one humble suggestion. Could you kindly elaborate on destroyer , corvette , carrier etc. which is the naval jargon.
The carrier is obviously know but corvetter , destroyer , warship are confusing terms for an average person like me.
I have also seen some movies like Battleship in which they have shown that the "battleship" with huge guns beats an alien ship which has completely destroyed 3 destroyers. Its all very confusing.
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Old 4th March 2015, 10:59   #5
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Lovely write up, thanks a lot.

Would you be able to add to this? Maybe the Stealth Delhi class, and speculations on whats coming next? that would make for a lovely conversation
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Old 4th March 2015, 11:32   #6
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Thanks for the thread. Superb pics and text put into this!

I want to know what is the real difference between a Corvette a Frigate and a Destroyer. All the three appear to be the same size and perhaps for the same purpose.

... well actually now that I speak, I am referring to the wikipedia for the differences.
However, it would help if the differences are posted here as well.
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Old 4th March 2015, 11:46   #7
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Another detailed article. Thanks for the same.

Was thinking Talwar class is the category of stealth frigates, was not knowing it was in use since 1960.
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Old 4th March 2015, 12:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy - INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra classes of Frigates

Shivalik deserves another thread.
Like a master storyteller, you left a subtle hint, a promise of a "sequel". You can't leave us hanging. Please, take a few days off, retire to the Himalayas or Andaman and only emerge once the next masterly blog is ready to be published

Can't remember when I last enjoyed a blog so much...maybe the driving travelogue through the Central Asian republics elsewhere in TBHP.....
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Old 4th March 2015, 13:16   #9
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Thanks Narayan, as always it is a pleasure reading your thread. Shivalik class/Project 17 class of stealth frigate has always fascinated me more as it marks the many first in the ships of Indian Navy and I am looking forward for your thread on it.

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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Another detailed article. Thanks for the same.

Was thinking Talwar class is the category of stealth frigates, was not knowing it was in use since 1960.
You are partially right. First INS Talwar bearing pennant number F140 was a whitby class frigate commissioned in 1959. It was decommissioned in 1992. Second INS Talwar(F40) was a modified Russian Krivak III class frigate commissioned in June 2003 and is a lead vessel of Talwar class of stealth frigates.

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Old 4th March 2015, 14:06   #10
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

An amazing thread yet again. All your threads have been interesting and informative, which brings on how India evolved in those areas, both the good and the bad(on hindsight!). Read all your threads in one go, hoping to see more such threads.

I have always looked at the Naval ships (for that matter anything related to defense, ships and aircrafts) with awe, and had oppurtunity to visit INS Vikrant when it was in Chennai. Also had oppurtunity to see a UK ship while I was in UK, early last decade. As many have said, the jargons and capablities was beyond comprehension.

Rating it a well deserved 5*
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Old 4th March 2015, 14:28   #11
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

This is such an awesome thread. Such threads on our war / army related history are an amazing thing to read to learn. Our country has come a long way, from importing everything to now producing everything. I have attended the Navy Day celebrations here in Mumbai for the past few years and it is such a proud moment to see the Men in White !!

It is my dream to see a war ship up front and close, and a bigger dream to see a submarine up and close. I think working on a submarine is the most, most difficult job in this world. 1 mistake and thats it. Add to it the claustrophobic working atmosphere. I hope one day my wish will come true !! Jai Hind !
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Old 4th March 2015, 14:35   #12
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

Thanks for the great write up Narayan. It was a pleasure to read. Expecting more articles like these from you.

The people behind these are our unsung heroes. We have reached far till our Kolkata Class Frigates, we are building our on Aircraft Carrier and the next one has completed the design phase. We have made our on Nuclear Submarine.

We are now exporting Off Shore Patrol Vessels, bidding for international tenders. GRSE, Mazgoan Docks, and our other shipyards have given their best to make our Navy Self Reliant, and I read on one of the statements made by our Chief of Naval Staff Robin Dhowan, saying that we would be a 100% in near future (or may be sooner).

Cheers
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Old 4th March 2015, 16:26   #13
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

THough Narayan Sir has very kindly thanked me for contributing to this, I didn't do a thing!. Sadly I have spend the past couple of weeks being consigned to a bed with limited mobility due to a back problem. It is only now that I am coming back to normal.

This is very expertly put together. While researching this I did come across some anecdotes, which I will share next week, when I expect to be allowed to use the computer for longer period.
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Old 4th March 2015, 17:13   #14
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

Why has the Navy or for that matter ISRO and Department of Atomic Energy succeeded on the journey of indigenization where HAL, DRDO and IAF have failed.
========
Fortunately we have some happy stories with the Navy and ISRO.
Nicely correlated and written, especially the comparison with cars every now and then. Hopefully all this information is free for sharing in public domain.

Your introspection on why DRDO and HAL have not succeeded is an interesting one and makes us think that maybe if Army and Airforce had been strategic partners in their growth then situation might be different. But lets not forget relative size of Navy in our country in respect to Army and their needs.

At times I do wonder what kind of resources Germans had that after their destruction in WW1 they still managed to have hundreds of U-boats ready before the WW2.
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Old 4th March 2015, 21:47   #15
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Default Re: Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra

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Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
Could you kindly elaborate on destroyer , corvette , carrier etc. which is the naval jargon.
The carrier is obviously known but corvette , destroyer , warship are confusing terms for an average person like me.
I have also seen some movies like Battleship in which they have shown that the "battleship" with huge guns beats an alien ship which has completely destroyed 3 destroyers. Its all very confusing.
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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
I want to know what is the real difference between a Corvette a Frigate and a Destroyer. All the three appear to be the same size and perhaps for the same purpose....
However, it would help if the differences are posted here as well.
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Originally Posted by raghu.t.k View Post
As many have said, the jargons and capablities was beyond comprehension.






BHPians from the Navy will be able to through better light on this but I will try and explain the fuzzy lines between different warship types. There are about a dozen odd major categories of warships of varying sizes and with different roles - surface vessels, submarines, amphibious ships, support & supply ships etc. These in turn are further categorized into about 50 sub-types by what is known as NATO's Stanag Ship Designator list. Sticking to surface ships the largest usually are aircraft carriers a self explanatory designation.


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Photo of INS Viraat tipping the scales at 28,000 tonnes. Can operate up to 28 aircraft/helicopters. Now a little long in the tooth but still a proud lady. Like in case of cars the categories beneath carriers can merge into each other to some extent and roles can blend a bit into each other thus causing confusion. Also with each passing generation the size of ships has increased so warships of a given category today will be the same size as those of a category higher of 30 years ago and both may be in commission (i.e. in service) simultaneously.


Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-2a.jpg
As things stand today after aircraft carriers the largest and most powerful category is a 'Destroyer' typically between 5000 and 10,000 tonnes displacement. It is an offensive platform with medium to long range capabilities in all three dimensions (air, surface and underwater). Destroyers can also act as command ships of a squadron, they typically have a good turn of speed of 30 knots or more and long ranges - say 10,000 kms at 16 knots (~30kmph). They often have two of each major weapon system including (often) two helicopters. Photo above of INS Delhi a 6700 tonne destroyer.


Indian Navy - A Shipbuilders Navy: INS Nilgiri, INS Godavari & INS Brahmaputra-2b.jpg
Next down are frigates which today are 3000 to 6000 tonnes. A generation ago they were 2000 to 3500 tonnes. They excel in one or two dimensions and have self defense in the third. They too would carry a helicopter or two. Range would normally be adequate for ocean work like 7500kms at 16 knots. They are often the maid of all ocean going work in a Navy and escort carriers too. Photo of INS Talwar 4000 tonnes.


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Next come corvettes which are powerfully armed vessels for limited endurance and coastal work. They would have significant capability in one dimension and self defence in the other two - so you may have a predominantly Anti-Ship Corvette or Anti-Submarine Corvette. Corvettes are 500 to 1500 tonnes. Major Navies normally do not carry ships smaller than a corvette in their fleet. Patrol boats come next down the scale and in India, Japan, USA etc they are operated by the Coastguard. Photo of INS Abhay an anti-submarine corvette.

The term 'Battleships' is a very old one from the 1880 to 1940 time period. In those days they were the largest and most powerful warships carrying heavy guns with outsize calibres such as 12" or 15". This breed is now extinct except for two kept in mothballs by the US Navy and one kept in service by the Russian Navy. It is now more of a generic word. Hope this helps. Till 25 years ago there was a category termed 'cruisers' which were bigger than destroyers but that nomenclature is for the time being out of fashion. It may re-emerge.

Think of it as the Mercedes C of today being close to the E of yesterday. And is an SUV a passenger car or a sports utility vehicle and what of soft roaders! Same with warships Sailors like to keep things tied up in knots including their ship categories!
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