The Indian Navy is that wing of the Indian defence forces that guards the oceans and the seas, and over time has evolved to become the seventh largest naval force in the world, both in terms of size and strength. The Indian Navy has been engaged in wars in the past and has proved its mettle time and again. There is not a single Indian who knows about the Indian Navy and is not proud of it. Here are twelve interesting facts about the Indian Navy that everyone must know.
- Have you ever thought of how and when the Indian Navy took birth? The Indian Navy saw its inception approximately 7600 years ago! The first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal, Gujrat, around 2300 BC.
2. In recent history, the Indian Navy was renamed into the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) by the imperial forces in the country. It was on the onset of the World War II that the Navy expanded in terms of the number of vessels and personnel.
3. At the end of the Second World War, the Indian Navy underwent heavy demobilization of vessels and personnel. It was this that sparked up the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny, which was a rebellion on board ships and on shore establishments.
4. The partition of the country into India and Pakistan also led to a partition of the naval force, and Pakistan was handed over three of the active seven sloops – HMIS Godaveri, HMIS Hindustan and HMIS Narbada, four of the ten serviceable minesweepers, two frigates, two naval trawlers, four harbour launches and a number of harbour defence motor launches
Coming nearer to the present, as of 2014, the Indian Navy possesses two aircraft carriers, one amphibious transport dock, 9 Landing ship tanks, 9 destroyers, 15 frigates, one nuclear-powered attack submarine, 14 conventionally powered attack submarines, 25 corvettes, 7 mine countermeasure vessels, 10 large offshore patrol vessels, 4 fleet tankers and various auxiliary vessels and small patrol boats.
5. INS Viraat, that has been in service since 1987 as India’s aircraft carrier is now looking at decommissioning in 2016.
INS Vikrant, the Majestic class carrier, which was once the HMS Hercules, was India’s first aircraft carrier and served the nation from 1961 to 1997. It is currently a museum ship docked at the Mumbai port.
You must be wondering what HMS ever stood for. HMS stood for His/Her Majesty’s Ship, while INS, which is the prefix used today, stand for Indian Naval Ship.
7. A 40,000-ton Vikrant class carrier is being built at Cochin Shipyard and is expected to enter service in 2017.
8. INS Arihant is India’s first indigenously built nuclear submarine and hence is not limited by fuel, but by its ability to carry food for its men. It has the capability to shoot missiles tipped with nuclear warheads even from a depth of 0.5 km beneath the sea.
9. The rank of ‘Admiral of the Fleet’ exists in Indian Navy, but it is primarily intended for major wartime use and honour. No officer of the Indian Navy has yet been conferred this rank.