India inherited a small navy from the British. Known as the Royal Indian Navy. It took part in operations against the Imperial navy in the Bay of Bengal. After independence, the need for a strong navy was felt, as India had a long coastline of over 5,000 km. The navy got its first aircraft carrier in 1961 and ship building activity commenced at Mazgaon. This was due to the drive and foresight of the then defense minister Krishna Menon. He was anti-west and pro-Soviet. He succeeded in shifting the navy's priority to Russian equipment.

Russian connection

India got Russian submarines and frigates to bolster its fleet. Presently the Indian Navy is the most powerful fleet in the Indian Ocean and China regularly shadows the Indian fleet with its submarines. The Russian connection has also been junked as India has moved closer to the USA and Israel.

Indian stealth frigate

The Indians have their own stealth frigate. The latest is INS Sahyadri. This warship does not compare with the latest stealth warship of the US fleet but is a reasonably advanced and potent warship. The ship displaces 5,700 tons and is designed at the Mazgaon dock. The warship has a complement of 50 officers and 200 other ranks.

The warship is a frigate and has one auto firing super rapid gun mount (SRGM).

This can engage enemy targets 15-20 km away. It carries 8 Russian anti-ship cruise missiles as well as the indigenous built Brahma missiles. The ship also for its defense carries the Israeli Barack -1 missiles as well as the Shtil-1 air defense missile system. The ship uses an Israeli-made Radar detection system which is integrated with the ship's weaponry.

The frigate uses diesel turbines made in Ukraine which gives it a speed of over 30 knots per hour. The ship has an operational range of over 4,000 miles, giving the Indian navy a sweep of the entire Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The warships of the western fleet maintain liaison with the American fleet at Diego Garcia.

Showing Indian flag

The warship has been showing the Indian flag and has recently visited South Korea and also to the chagrin of China sailed in the South China sea along with the US fleet. It was part of the recently concluded naval exercise in the China sea along with the US and Japanese navy. The navy has 3 similar ships and they project Indian military power.

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