Indian Navy comes a calling

May 31, 2005
Author: P&S

Four ships of the Indian Navy are expected in Cape Town and Durban in the next week to ten days.

The first to arrive is the modified Krivak class stealth frigate INS Trishul (F43), built in Russia and completed in 2003.

INS Trishul is due to arrive in Durban on Monday 6 June 2005. The frigate has a crew of 180 and is armed with a single helicopter, a range of missiles and a variety of guns and torpedo tubes. She is one of three ships of this class (known by the Indians as the Talwar class).

This is the second visit for the stealth frigate, which stopped at several South African ports while on her delivery voyage from Russia in September 2003 (see reports in the Naval Review section of Ports & Ships dated 28 August and 5 September 2003).

The fleet oiler INS Aditya (A59), a fairly recent addition to the Indian Navy, which was completed in 2000, is accompanying INS Trishul. Aditya carries a crew of 197.

Two other ships of the Indian Navy will visit Cape Town on 9 June – one is the destroyer INS Delhi (D61), which displaces 6,700t fully loaded and carries two Sea King helicopters in addition to a comprehensive array of missiles, guns and torpedo tubes. INS Delhi carries a crew of 360.

She will be in company of the Godavari class frigate INS Ganga (F21), of 4,300 tons displacement and carrying a crew of 313. Ganga normally has two helicopters on board (a Sea King and a Chetak) and carries missiles, guns and two torpedo tubes. The Godavari class is a derivation of the British Leander frigate but is equipped with a Russian designed armament suite.

There has been no official statement as to the reason for the visit (the South African Navy intends issuing a press release on Thursday, 2 June) but there is some doubt whether these four ships will be attending the International Fleet Review in the Solent on 28 June. India’s representatives for that event are listed as INS Tarangani and INS Mumbai. (The South African Navy representative is SAS Drakensberg.)

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