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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Indian Navy Day 2018: Operation Trident, blue-water ambitions and a lengthy way to indigenisation

Indian Navy Day 2018: Operation Trident, blue-water ambitions and a lengthy way to indigenisation

India is commemorating the 47th Navy Day on Tuesday. Like some place else in the world, Navy Day in India too is celebrated with tons fanfare and gusto. The enthralling performances of navy men throughout the annual Beating Retreat and Tattoo ceremony at the Gateway of India is now synonymous with Navy Day. Nonetheless, the magnitude of 4 December is unparalleled in independent India’s navy history.
It used to be on this day in 1971 that Indian Navy left its shores for the very first time to efficiently assault Pakistan. Operation Trident, the codename for the naval attack on Karachi, is considered one of the most successful operations in the post-World War II era.
INDIAN NAVY DAY 4 DEC 2018
INDIAN NAVY DAY 2018

It all commenced when Pakistan launched pre-emptive airstrikes against India’s air bases on three December 1971. However, Pakistan failed to neutralise India’s air force, leading to India’s entry into the Bangladesh War.
It was once on this day in 1971 that Indian Navy left its shores for the very first time to efficiently attack Pakistan. Operation Trident, the codename for the naval attack on Karachi, is viewed one of the most successful operations in the post-World War II era.

It all began when Pakistan launched pre-emptive airstrikes against India’s air bases on three December 1971. However, Pakistan failed to neutralise India’s air force, main to India’s entry into the Bangladesh War.

The day Karachi burned


As Indian Air Force started bombing Pakistani bases, the Western Naval Command determined to attack Karachi – Pakistan’s monetary hub and the headquarters of its navy. To incur minimal losses however inflict maximum injury on ships, it used to be decided that the Indian fleet will attack the harbour at night. This decision additionally stemmed from information that Pakistani aircrafts lacked night time bombing capabilities.

A fleet, consisting of three Vidyut classification missile boats – led through Commander BB Yadav, two Arnala class anti-submarine corvettes and a fleet tanker, left for Karachi on four December 1971.  According to a report, the missile boats have been armed with four SS-N-2B Styx surface-to-surface missiles with a vary of forty nautical miles (about 75 kilometres).
The fleet reached 250 nautical miles south of Karachi and stayed out of Pakistani radars for the complete day. According to Vice Admiral GM Hiranandani’s book Transition to Triumph, PNS Khaibar was hit with the aid of the first missile at round 10.40 PM. After the 2nd strike, the ambitious destroyer sank. At 11.20 pm, PNS Muhafiz, used to be hit through every other missile. The minesweeper sank after a big hearth engulfed it.

In all, three ships sank whilst one used to be badly broken – PNS Shah Jahan. Nearly 300 Pakistan Navy guys died as a end result of the missile strikes.

“At about 1 am on 5 December, I despatched the message 'Angar' to the Commander-in-Chief signifying the completion of Operation Trident,” Commodore Gopal Rao recollected in his 1990 article in the Indian Defence Review.

After the success of Operation Trident, the navy launched Operation Python on the night of 8/9 December. Both operations, along with the successful naval blockade of East Pakistan, jeopardised Pakistan’s war efforts. Pakistan unconditionally surrendered on 16 December 1971.

Significance of Operation Trident


For former chief of naval personnel Admiral SM Nanda, the heroics of 4 December, 1971 meant that the side-lined Navy should sooner or later reap its rightful location in India’s security matrix. “India’s naval energy had remained neglected as our political leaders predicted threat solely from throughout our Western land border,” a 2015 Indian Defence Review article cited while commenting on navy’s minimal position until 1971 war.

A 2004 Tribune review of the memoir The Man Who Bombed Karachi captured Nanda’s thoughts, “A misperception had won ground (in the 50s and 60s) amongst the political and military planners that the Navy had only a marginal position to play in the armed conflicts India was once pressured into.”

In the aftermath of the war, as Hiranandani noted in his book, the government finally realised the effectiveness of sea power. The navy, as the e book stated, also rose in the eyes of Western and Russian navies for its “professionalism and innovativeness”. A cumulative impact used to be that India’s Navy managed to grow to be the seventh greatest in the world.

Fast forward to existing day

indian navy admiral 2018,
Sunil Lanba - India Navy Chief

The Indian Navy of the 21st century is rising as a formidable force likely to affect the Indian Ocean Region. This is in tune with a CIA report, which pointed out India’s desire to maintain its dominance in the region.

In line with India’s huge world ambitions, the Navy is expanding and modernising – albeit bureaucratic hiccups remain.

Speaking on the eve of Navy Day, Admiral Sunil Lanba said, "Navy is searching at inducting fifty six warships and submarines to enhance its strength. This is apart from 32 warships under construction.”

In geopolitical dynamics, plane carriers are considered a signal of blue-water ambitions. India’s lone aircraft provider is INS Vikramaditya. Accommodating 30 MIG-29Ks and six Kamov helicopters, the plane service is anticipated to be battle-ready with the aid of May 2019.

Among Indian Navy’s modern day vessels are the Kalvari-class diesel-electric assault submarines. According to one report, INS Khanderi will be delivered to the Navy through the give up of 2018. INS Kalvari, the lead submarine of the Kalvari-class, is already in service. Another submarine from the same type is predicted to be commissioned sometime next year.


However, with just 14 traditional — some regarded obsolete — submarines, India lags at the back of in the geopolitical race. On the different hand, China, its main rival in the region, already controls about 60 conventional submarines.

India, nevertheless, operates two nuclear submarines: INS Chakra and INS Arihant. On 6 November his year, INS Arihant competed its first deterrence patrol, supporting India enter the distinct nuclear triad club. This means India can now launch nukes from air, land and water. Currently equipped with K15 nuclear-tipped missiles having a range of 750 kilometres, INS Arihant is the lead submarine of Arihant-class ballistic missile submarines.

Another current addition to Indian Navy’s firepower is the destroyer INS Chennai. Capable of being outfitted with Brahmos as nicely as Barak 8 missiles, INS Chennai is the last of the three present day Kolkata-class vessels to be commissioned.
Significance of Operation Trident

For former chief of naval body of workers Admiral SM Nanda, the heroics of 4 December, 1971 intended that the side-lined Navy ought to ultimately attain its rightful location in India’s security matrix. “India’s naval energy had remained disregarded as our political leaders estimated risk only from across our Western land border,” a 2015 Indian Defence Review article stated whilst commenting on navy’s minimal function till 1971 war.

A 2004 Tribune overview of the memoir The Man Who Bombed Karachi captured Nanda’s thoughts, “A misperception had won floor (in the 50s and 60s) amongst the political and navy planners that the Navy had solely a marginal function to play in the armed conflicts India was forced into.”

In the aftermath of the war, as Hiranandani stated in his book, the authorities subsequently realised the effectiveness of sea power. The navy, as the book stated, additionally rose in the eyes of Western and Russian navies for its “professionalism and innovativeness”. A cumulative impact was once that India’s Navy managed to end up the seventh greatest in the world.

Fast ahead to current day

The Indian Navy of the twenty first century is rising as a bold force probable to impact the Indian Ocean Region. This is in tune with a CIA report, which pointed out India’s want to keep its dominance in the region.

In line with India’s huge global ambitions, the Navy is increasing and modernising – albeit bureaucratic hiccups remain.

Speaking on the eve of Navy Day, Admiral Sunil Lanba said, "Navy is searching at inducting fifty six warships and submarines to enhance its strength. This is apart from 32 warships below construction.”

In geopolitical dynamics, aircraft carriers are considered a signal of blue-water ambitions. India’s lone plane provider is INS Vikramaditya. Accommodating 30 MIG-29Ks and six Kamov helicopters, the aircraft carrier is anticipated to be battle-ready through May 2019.

Among Indian Navy’s present day vessels are the Kalvari-class diesel-electric assault submarines. According to one report, INS Khanderi will be delivered to the Navy via the quit of 2018. INS Kalvari, the lead submarine of the Kalvari-class, is already in service. Another submarine from the same class is predicted to be commissioned sometime next year.

However, with simply 14 traditional — some viewed obsolete — submarines, India lags in the back of in the geopolitical race. On the different hand, China, its essential rival in the region, already controls about 60 traditional submarines.

India, nevertheless, operates two nuclear submarines: INS Chakra and INS Arihant. On 6 November his year, INS Arihant competed its first deterrence patrol, helping India enter the exceptional nuclear triad club. This means India can now launch nukes from air, land and water. Currently outfitted with K15 nuclear-tipped missiles having a vary of 750 kilometres, INS Arihant is the lead submarine of Arihant-class ballistic missile submarines.

Another recent addition to Indian Navy’s firepower is the destroyer INS Chennai. Capable of being outfitted with Brahmos as nicely as Barak eight missiles, INS Chennai is the ultimate of the three present day Kolkata-class vessels to be commissioned.


There is one frequent issue that binds INS Arihant, INS Kalvari, INS Chennai and the soon-to-be-commissioned INS Vikrant, India’s second plane provider – all are indigenous.

In a bid to flip into a “Builder’s Navy”, the Indian Navy has centered on promotion indigenisation across various verticals. The navy's formidable indigenisation plan ranges from producing the smallest spare section of a machine to constructing warships. Conveniently, indigenisation is now built-in with the Make in India programme. But we want to wait until 2030 to get a clearer photograph of indigenisation in the navy.




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