INS Khukri decommissioned after 32 years of service to nation
- INS Khukri, the first of the indigenously built missile corvettes, was decommissioned after 32 years of service at a solemn ceremony held at Visakhapatnam.
- The corvette was built by the Mazagon Dock shipbuilders on August 23, 1989 and had the distinction of being part of both the Western and Eastern Fleets.
- The Indian Naval Ship, Khukri was affiliated with the Gorkha Brigade of the Indian Army.
- It was the first of its class guided-missile corvette indigenously built by the Mazagon Dock shipbuilders in 1989.
- The operational deployment of the warship saw its active participation in the Western and Eastern Fleets.
- As per the naval statistics, INS Khukri was efficiently exploited and the warship navigated equivalent to three times distance between Earth and Moon (i.e. over 6,44,897 nautical miles as per ship’s logbook), with 28 Commanding Officers getting an opportunity to be at her helm during these three decades of commission.
- The follow-on Khukri class corvettes were Khanjar, Kirpan and Kuthar which are still in service with the Indian Navy.
- The unique sensor fit, power packed weaponry within a smaller hull frame, along with deft manoeuvrability make these warships highly proficient in warfighting abilities.
- During any fleet operations, the Khukri class corvettes were always in competition with much larger Destroyers and Frigates to clinch the Fleet’s best ship trophy.
- With the successful design of Khukri class corvettes, the Indian Navy constructed next generation corvettes, christened Kora Class (1350 ton).
- Kora, Kulish, Kirch and Karmuk were the four warships constructed under this class by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and outfitted at Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
Indian Navy’s Corvettes
- In the last fifty years, Indian Navy’s tryst with Corvettes may be traced back to Veer class missile boats which began construction under Project 1241RE at Russia and, thereafter, more of these constructed indigenously under transfer of technology programme.
- Many ships in this class continue to be in service with the Indian Navy.
- The warships in this class also carried forward the names of the “Killer Squadron” ships gallantly involved in the 1971 Indo-Pak.
- The specialized corvettes are also used for ASW (Anti-submarine Warfare) roles and these are designed with specific underwater sensor and weapon fit for sub-surface operations.
- In the modern era, the Indian Navy has been operating the Abhay class (variants of the Soviet Pauk class corvettes) constructed in Russia under Project 1241PE.
- In recent times, the Kamorta class ASW stealth corvettes (Project-28) have been constructed at GRSE, with the last of these ships viz. INS Kavaratti commissioned in 2020.
- These ASW corvettes too form an integral part of the fleet for underwater operations, with specialized equipment like sensitive sonars and deck mounted torpedo tubes.
- All the modern corvettes have a helicopter deck for aviation operations.
- A helicopter onboard provides a tremendous capability enhancement to the corvettes, like Command & Control support, situational awareness, EW picket and for transportation means for men and materiel.