News in Brief
GUIDED MISSILE DESTROYER INS CHENNAI JOINS THE INDIAN NAVY
INS Chennai, a P-15A guided missile destroyer, was commissioned into the Indian Navy by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at an impressive ceremony held at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai on November 21. The event marks the formal induction into the Indian Navy of the third and the last of the three Kolkata class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian NavyÕs in-house organisation, Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by the Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai. The Defence Minister, whilst addressing the gathering, termed the commissioning of INS Chennai, as a historic day for the Indian Navy as it adds another milestone in our relentless journey towards achieving self-reliance in battle readiness. During his address, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said that commissioning of INS Chennai marks another milestone in the Navy’s quest for self-reliance as it signifies completion of the challenging Project P-15A and heralds a new era of advanced warships built indigenously by Indian shipyards.
INDIAN NAVY INDUCTS INDIGENOUSLY DEVELOPED SONARS
The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar handed over four naval systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the Indian Navy at a special ceremony in New Delhi on November 18, 2016. The four indigenously developed naval systems, viz. Abhay, Humsa UG, NACS and AIDSS, which will boost underwater surveillance capability of the Indian Navy, were formally handed over to the Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba by the Minister.
Parrikar complimented the DRDO and the Navy for their successful joint venture in developing several naval systems, which will provide a fillip to the quest for self-reliance in this critical area of technology. ÒI expect much more synergy between the armed forces and DRDO in the days to come,Óhe said. He expressed his appreciation to DRDO for its achievements in the last two years particularly in the induction of LCA Tejas, Varunastra torpedo, Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, Rustom-II UAV and several missile programmes.
CNS ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA VISITS SRI LANKA
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba visited Sri Lanka, November 27 to December 1, 2016. The visit was intended to consolidate and enhance the bilateral maritime relations between India and Sri Lanka. During his visit, the CNS held bilateral discussions with His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and various senior civilian and defence dignitaries. The Admiral also attended the Galle Dialogue which was held at Colombo. The Galle Dialogue is an annual conference hosted by Sri Lanka on the issues of Maritime Security and Cooperation between international navies in which about 39 countries and 13 international organisations participated. The CNS also delivered a keynote address on ÔIndiaÕs Perspective on the Benefits of Strategic Maritime PartnershipsÕ, during the event. He also laid a wreath at the IPKF memorial which has been built by Sri Lanka to honour Indian martyrs.
VISITS OF INDIAN NAVAL SHIPS
First Training Squadron visits Chittagong. INS Tir and Sujata, along with Indian Coast Guard ship Varuna, visited Chittagong, Bangladesh, from November 11-15, 2016, as part of their Overseas Deployment during Autumn Term 16. India and Bangladesh have a close, long-standing relationship covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which has strengthened over the years.
INS Sumitra visits Auckland, New Zealand, for International Naval Review 2016. In pursuit of IndiaÕs ÔAct EastÕpolicy, the Indian NavyÕs OPV Sumitra visited Auckland from November 16-22, 2016. The ship would also represent the Indian Navy at the Royal New Zealand Navy International Naval Review 2016.
INS Shardul visits Port Victoria. In a demonstration of IndiaÕs commitment to its ties with Seychelles and to promote maritime security in the Indian Ocean region, INS Shardul arrived at Port Victoria on November 23 for a three-day visit. INS Shardul, an amphibious ship, is currently on a month-long deployment in the southern Indian Ocean in keeping with the vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
LCU 57 LAUNCHED AT GRSE, KOLKATA
The seventh ship of LCU MK IV project was launched on November 24, 2016, at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. The chief guest, Dr Subhash Ramarao Bhamre, Raksha Rajya Mantri, along with Vice Admiral D.M. Deshpande, Controller of Warship Production and Acquisition (CWP&A), Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE and vari- ous other dignitaries were present for the launch ceremony.
Rear Admiral A.K. Verma (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director of GRSE, commenced the proceedings with a formal welcome, which was followed by an address by the chief guest. LCU L-57 is the seventh vessel in the series of eight landing craft utility ships being designed and built by GRSE for the Indian Navy. The ship can be deployed for multi-role activities like beaching operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations and evacuation from distant islands.
EXERCISE KONKAN 16 BEGINS
Konkan 16, the 2016 edition of the annual bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy, would be held from December 5-16, 2016, at Mumbai and Goa. The exercise will be conducted in two phases at Mumbai and Goa. The first phase, to be held from December 5-9, 2016, would be a Command Planning exercise involving the two navies, where planners from both sides will undertake planning for combined maritime operations. The second phase is a Live Exercise (LIVEX), to be held from December 12-16, 2016 at Goa, which involves interaction between the Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOs) and the Royal Marines. Both phases will involve sharing of best practices and lessons learnt from recent operations, especially in the field of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Non-combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO).
This cooperation between the two navies is a positive and tangible symbol of commitment in ensuring a positive climate for maritime security and economic development. The current edition would further strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and the United Kingdom, and enhance their capability to work together to contribute towards maritime security in the global commons.
INS BETWA SLIPS ON ITS KEEL
On December 5, 2016, while undocking from the Cruiser Graving Dock (CGD) at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. INS Betwa (F39) listed over by 90 degrees to its Port (left) side and slipped from dock block which are specifically fitted out to ensure ship’s centre of gravity. INS Betwa, a Brahmaputra class Guided Missile Frigate was commissioned into Indian Navy on July 4, 2004 and commenced her Medium Refit ( MR) at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai in April 2016 and was docked in the CGD for survey and essential repairs to the underwater part of the ship. It is on the successful completion of this phase of the MR that the ship was being undocked from CGD. In this process the ship met with a very unusual kind of accident, killing two sailors and injuring another 22. The shipÕs main mast has been extensively damaged.
While the mandatory fact finding Board of Inquiry, headed by a senior Flag Officer has been constituted, the Navy’s top brass is currently engaged in planning the salvage operation for Betwa. Indian Navy is determined to make Betwa upright and fully operational, post MR to join the fleet as soon as possible.
Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of the Naval has visited CGD at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai where INS Betwa lies tipped over to her Port side for a first hand on-site inspection to learn of the extent of damage. After taking stock of the situation, he declared, ÒThe Navy will upright the ship and make her operational in the shortest possible time.Ó