Indian Navy to visit Walvis Bay and Durban

Aug 28, 2003
Author: P&S

India’s latest naval ship, the frigate INS Trishul is due to visit Walvis Bay (1 September) and Durban (between 8 and 11 September) for official ‘show the flag’ courtesy visits while on her delivery voyage from St Petersburg in Russia.

INS Trishul was launched at the Baltiyski shipyards on the Neva River in St Petersburg in 2000 and is the second of three Krivak class stealth frigates. The first ship, INS Talwar was launched in April 2002 and a third is due to follow Trishul shortly. Under the USD931.5 million contract with Russia, India has the option to build another three of this class in India.

Not all has been plain sailing however, with the Indian Navy refusing to take delivery of both Talwar and Trishul until recurring faults in the main surface-to-surface Shitil missiles were cleared up. Only seven of the first 12 test flights were successful and delivery of the frigates was set back by 18 months. The Russians offered to fix the problem after the ships entered service but this was refused, with navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh making it clear that India would not accept the ships until the problem was solved.

Admiral Singh was due to visit Russia in June this year but his visit was delayed one week after another test firing failed in the presence of Indian Navy personnel.

The 125m long frigates displace 4,000 tonnes and are an improved version of the Project 1135 frigate designed for task force anti-submarine warfare and air defence. The ship employs stealth technology and carries a Kamov 31 early warning helicopter and is capable of speeds in excess of 30 knots. Her weaponry includes vertically launched long-range surface-to-surface missiles, long-range surface-to-air missiles, a 100mm gun, advanced torpedo launchers, anti-submarine rocket launchers and an anti-missile defence system.

INS Trishul is due to join the Western Fleet at her homeport of Mumbai. Her commanding officer is Captain SPS Cheema. The ship is the second to bear the name, the first having been a Whitby class predecessor that was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1960 and saw 32 years of service until paid off in 1992.

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