IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st December, 2023 Security


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  • The launch of the first three of eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts by Cochin Shipyard Ltd. for the Indian Navy signifies a significant advancement in India's naval capabilities.


Key Highlights

  • Vessels Launched: INS Mahe, INS Malvan, and INS Mangrol are the first three of the series of eight anti-submarine warfare shallow water crafts.
  • Purpose and Features: The ships, upon commissioning, will replace the Navy’s existing Abhay class ASW corvettes. Designed specifically for anti-submarine operations in coastal waters, they are capable of low-intensity maritime operations, mine-laying, sub-surface surveillance, coordinated ASW operations with aircraft, and search and rescue missions.
  • Contract and Timeline: Cochin Shipyard Ltd. signed a contract with the Defence Ministry in 2019 for the construction of these eight vessels.
  • Capabilities: Each vessel has the capacity to accommodate 57 personnel, including seven naval officers, and is equipped with advanced anti-submarine warfare technologies, enhancing the Navy's capabilities in coastal defense and maritime security.

About Abhay-class vessels

  • Modified from the Pauk II class under Project 1241 PE, represented an important facet of India's naval fleet.

Features and Modifications:

  • Origin and Development: Derived from the Pauk II class vessels built at the Volodarski shipyard in the former Soviet Union.
  • Enhancements: The Abhay class was characterized by being longer, equipped with larger torpedo tubes, and featured improved electronics compared to the Pauk I class vessels.
  • Upgrades: The class was intended to undergo an upgrade with the Abhay integrated sonar system developed by the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory.

Service History:

  • INS Agray Incident: In 2004, INS Agray suffered damage due to an accident when an anti-submarine rocket misfired and exploded from the RBU-1200 launcher on board. Following this incident, the vessel underwent conversion into a patrol vessel and a trials ship for electronic warfare systems.
  • Decommissioning of INS Ajay: INS Ajay, after 32 years of service in the Indian Navy, was decommissioned on September 19, 2022.

About Mahe class

  • The Mahé-class minesweeper vessels represent a significant category of small Russian minesweepers developed in the mid-1960s primarily to counter the threat posed by naval mines.
  • Minesweepers are crucial in detecting and neutralizing mines to ensure safe passage for other naval operations.

Key Features:

  • The Mahé class featured glass-reinforced plastic hulls that were constructed at Kolpino, USSR.
  • These vessels were primarily stationed at Kochi and engaged in various operational commitments:
    • Conducting mine countermeasure exercises.
    • Harbor defense operations.
    • Visits to minor ports.
    • Participating in search and rescue missions.

Details of Mahé-class Minesweepers:

  • INS Mahé (M 83):
    • Commissioned: May 16, 1983
    • Decommissioned: May 15, 2006
  • INS Malvan (M 84):
    • Commissioned: May 16, 1983
    • Decommissioned: January 5, 2003
  • INS Mangrol (M 85):
    • Commissioned: May 16, 1983
    • Decommissioned: April 7, 2004
  • INS Malpe (M 86):
    • Commissioned: May 10, 1984
    • Decommissioned: December 4, 2006
  • INS Mulki (M 87):
    • Commissioned: May 10, 1984
    • Decommissioned: 2003
  • INS Magdala (M 88):
    • Commissioned: May 10, 1984
    • Decommissioned: February 2002


Q. Discuss the significance of the recent launch of Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts by Cochin Shipyard Ltd. for the Indian Navy. Analyze the role of these vessels in augmenting India's maritime security capabilities and the implications of such advancements in the context of national defense and indigenous shipbuilding initiatives. (250 Words)