INS Sumitra commissioned at Chennai
The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, commissioned INS Sumitra—fourth indigenous Naval offshore patrol vessel (OPV)—into the Indian Navy at an impressive ceremony held at Chennai. Vice Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral A.V. Subhedar, Controller Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP&A), IHQ MoD(N), Rear Admiral Shekhar Mittal (Retd), Chairman and Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) and various other dignitaries were present during the ceremony.
Admiral R.K. Dhowan said: “The Indian Navy is a multi-dimensional force capable of meeting any challenge in the maritime domain in the Indian Ocean region. The responsibilities of protecting our vast maritime interests fall squarely on the shoulders of men in white uniform as it is the responsibility of the Navy to ensure that India’s maritime interests – which have a vital relationship with the nation’s economic growth – are allowed to develop unhindered both in peace and war”.
He further said that INS Sumitra will have a major role to play in patrolling India’s eastern seaboard and will be an important component under the NOIC (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) and the Eastern Naval Command, which has the responsibility of countering the maritime challenges in the Bay of Bengal and the waters of the adjoining Eastern Indian Ocean region.
Complimenting the efforts of the Indian naval ship designers and defence sector shipyards, the Admiral stated that over the years we have progressively designed and constructed 120 warships and submarines of various categories in difference shipyards. “The blueprint for the future Indian Navy is firmly anchored on self-reliance and indigenisation and currently we have 41 ships and submarines under construction in various public and private shipyards within the country.” It is a matter of great pride that over the decades we have transformed from a “Buyer’s Navy” to a “Builders Navy”, he stated. He later unveiled the commissioning plaque and dedicated the ship to the nation.
INS Sumitra is the first major ship being based at Chennai in recognition of the growing importance of the region and enhanced surveillance needs. The primary role of the ship is to undertake surveillance of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) besides other operational tasks such as anti-piracy patrols, fleet support operations, maritime security of offshore assets and escort operations of high value naval platforms.
Designed and built by the Goa Shipyard Limited, INS Sumitra aptly demonstrates the immense potential of the country’s indigenous design and shipbuilding capability. Measuring about 105 metres in length, 13 metres in breadth and displacing 2,200 tonnes, the ship can achieve speed of 25 knots with an endurance of 6,000 nautical miles.
The ship’s weapon and sensor outfit include a 76.2 mm gun (super rapid gun mount), close in weapon systems, latest navigational and early warning radars, chaff launchers and an integrated electronic support measures system to undertake all assigned missions. She is also equipped with two rigid inflatable fast motor boats. In addition, the ship is also capable of carrying a helicopter onboard.
The propulsion package of the ship includes two Pielstick make diesel engines, which are the largest engines of their type to be inducted in the Indian Navy, and enable the ship to achieve speed of up to 25 knots. Further, the entire propulsion and power management of the ship is controlled electronically by means of a remote control system. The ship is equipped with a fully integrated LAN system along with a CCTV management system which enables optimal utilisation of onboard equipment and optimisation of manpower.
The ship is commanded by Commander Milind Mohan Mokashi, a Communication Specialist who is an alumnus of the 53rd Naval Academy Course and the prestigious 67th Defence Services Staff Course at Wellington. The ship is manned by nine officers and 105 sailors. The induction of the ship will add capacity and capability to be the Navy’s efforts to protect the nation’s maritime security needs.
Admiral R.K. Dhowan, Chief of the Naval Staff, unveiling the ships plaque along with Vice Admiral S. Soni, FOC-in-C, East, and Ship’s Commanding Officer Commander M.M. Mokashi; (right) INS Sumitra at Chennai