Nilgiri-class frigate

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Class overview
Builders: Mazagon Dock Limited
Operators:
Indian Navy Ensign
Indian Navy
Succeeded by: Godavari class
Completed: 6
Retired: 6
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 2,682 tons (standard)
2,962 tons (full load)
Length: 113 m
Beam: 13 m
Draught: 4.3 m
Propulsion: 2 x 550 psi (3,800 kPa) boilers
2 x 30,000 hp motors
Speed: 28 knots
Range: 4,000 miles at 12 knots
Complement: 267 (incl 17 officers)[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Signaal DA05 / BEL PFN513 radar
Signaal LW08 / BEL RAWL02 surface radar
Signaal ZW06 / BEL RASHMI navigation radar
Signaal M-45 navigation radar
Westinghouse SQS-505 / Graesby 750 sonar
Type 170 active attack sonar
Armament: 2 x MK.6 Vickers 115mm guns
2 x AK-630 6-barreled 30 mm gatling guns
2 x Oerlikon 20mm guns
2 x triple ILAS 3 324 mm torpedo tubes with Whitehead A244S or the Indian NST-58 torpedoes
Aircraft carried: 1 Westland Sea King or HAL Chetak

The Nilgiri class frigates are updated versions of the Leander class, designed and built for the Indian Navy by Mazagon Dock Limited in Mumbai. Six ships were built between 1972-81. Vessels of the class formed the 14th Frigate Squadron. The lead ship INS Nilgiri was the first major warship to be built in India in collaboration with Yarrow Shipbuilders of the United Kingdom

The class and its lead ship, INS Nilgiri are named for the Nilgiri Hills. Subsequent ships in the class are also named for hill ranges of India.

When the British refused to provide license production of the radar suite, the Indian Navy tied up with Signaal of Netherlands to license-build a similar radar search, tracking and fire control suite in India, which went into the latter five ships. Improved versions of the Signaal search radar continues to be fitted in later classes of Indian Navy ships. The last two ships, INS Vindhyagiri and INS Taragiri were modified significantly with the addition of a Seaking ASW helicopter, a collapsibile Canadian hangar, ILAS 324 mm triple torpedo tubes and a Bofors ASW twin barrel mortar. This re-design was done indigenously by the Indian Navy and gave it much needed experience and confidence in ship-design and modification. They were also fitted with an indigenously developed ASW fire control action information system which was a first for the Indian electronics industry. This project was led by the late Captain (later Rear Admiral) Prakash N Gour. The British categorically refused to extend their design warranty to the Indian modifications which nevertheless proved to be a success.

The Nilgiri class has being decommissioned by the navy, with the entry into service of the Shivalik class. Five ships have been decommissioned and one sunk in an accident. INS Taragiri was the last ship of the class to be decommissioned, on 27 June 2013 in Mumbai, after serving 33 years in the navy.[2][3]

History[edit]

The Nilgiri Class frigates served as the mainstay and workhorse of the Indian Navy during the 1980s and early 1990s and they formed the 14th Frigate Squadron. The last two vessels (F41 and F42) had more powerful engines than the earlier vessels.

INS Taragiri (F41) had a serious fire in July 1994, but was repaired and was back in active service in 1995. Westinghouse supplied the Indian Navy with ASW sonar systems, two hull mounted arrays and three variable depth sonar arrays which are installed inside towed bodies built by Fathom Ocean Ltd. Transducer elements in both cases are identical. INS Udaygiri (F35) underwent a refit at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai. The remaining vessels in the series were expected to have their armaments brought into line with later ships.

INS Himgiri (F34) was used as a trial ship for the indigenous APSOH (Advanced Panoramic Sonar Hull) sonar.

Ships[edit]

Name Pennant Commissioned Decommissioned Comments
INS Nilgiri F33 23 June 1972 1996 Sunk on 24 April 1997, by a Sea Eagle AShM fired from a Sea Harrier Frs Mk.51 of the Indian Navy.
INS Himgiri F34 23 November 1974 6 May 2005 The vessel holds the distinction of having the maximum number of days at sea in single commission and was the first to shoot down a pilotless aircraft in 1976. Captain K N Zadu, VrC, (Retd.) who served as her first commanding officer, was the chief guest at the decommissioning ceremony along with Commander Ravneet Singh who served as her last commanding officer.
INS Udaygiri F35 18 February 1976 24 August 2007[4]
INS Dunagiri F36 5 May 1977 20 October 2010 Named after one of the Himalayan peaks. Her crest depicts the Osprey, a Himalayan bird and the ship's motto is 'Victory Is My Profession'.
INS Taragiri F41 16 May 1980 27 June 2013 The last ship to be decommissioned.[2][3]
INS Vindhyagiri F42 8 July 1981 14 Jun 2012 [5]
(15 Feb 2011 recovered)
The ship suffered a collision with the MV Nord Lake at Mumbai harbour on 30 January 2011 and sank after a fire on board. No casualties were reported. It was re-floated by TITAN Salvage and was decommissioned later with full honours in 2012.

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