Vidyut-class missile boat

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Class overview
Name: Vidyut class
Operators:  Indian Navy
Succeeded by: Chamak class
Planned: 8
Completed: 8
Retired: 8
General characteristics
Type: Fast attack craft
Displacement: 245 tons (full load)[1]
Length: 38.6 m (127 ft)
Beam: 7.6 m (25 ft)
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h)+
Complement: 30
Armament:
  • 4 × SS-N-2A Styx anti-ship missile
  • 2 × AK-230 30mm guns

The Vidyut-class missile boats (Sanskrit; Devanagari: विद्युत्, lightning) of the Indian Navy were an Indian variant of the Soviet Osa I class.[2][3]

These vessels formed the 25th "Killer" Missile Boat Squadron, which sunk 2 destroyers, a minesweeper and various other vessels of the Pakistan Navy during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.

Acquisition[edit]

In 1964, the Soviet Union offered the Osa-class missile boats to a visiting Indian delegation. However, the Indian Navy showed no interest in the smaller boats at the time.

Until 1965, the primary acquisitions of the Indian Navy had been from Britain. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the British declined to transfer modern equipment to India. So, India turned to the Soviet Union for its military acquisitions.[4]

In 1967, during the Six Day War, an Egyptian missile boat attacked and sank the Israeli frigate, Eilat, from a range well beyond the frigate's guns.[2]

In 1968, a Pakistani delegation to the Soviet Union was also offered the missile boats and transfer of associated infrastructure. However, the Pakistan Navy wanted larger vessels and turned down the offer.[4]

In 1969, after examining the performance of the Egyptian boats during the Six Day War, India finalized agreements for the acquisition of the Osa-I-class missile boats from the Soviet Union. The vessels were commissioned into the Indian Navy starting in 1971, a few months before the start of the war with Pakistan.

Operations[edit]

The 25th Missile Boat Squadron, consisting of vessels from the Vidyut class, played a crucial role in the Indian attacks on Karachi in December 1971. The two key operations in which these vessels played an active role, were Operation Trident and Operation Python.

Commander B.B. Yadav, who commanded Operation Trident was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.[5] Lieutenant Commander B.N. Kavina, Petty Officer M.O. Thomachan, Petty Officer R.N. Sharma and L.K. Chakravarty and Lieutenant Commander Inderjit Sharma received the Vir Chakra for their roles in Operation Trident. Lieutenant Commander Vijai Jerath, was awarded the Vir Chakra for Operation Python.

Ships of the class[edit]

Name Pennant Commissioned Decommissioned Notes
Veer K82 2 April 1971 31 December 1982
Vidyut K83 16 February 1971 31 March 1991
Vijeta K84 27 March 1971 30 June 1992
Vinash K85 20 January 1971 15 January 1990
Nipat K86 26 April 1971 29 February 1988
Nashak K87 19 March 1971 31 December 1990
Nirbhik K88 20 February 1971 31 December 1986
Nirghat K89 29 January 1971 31 July 1989

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indian Naval Ships-Missile Boat - Chamak Class". Indiannavy.nic.in. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  2. ^ a b Pike, John (9 July 2011). "K83 Vidyut (Sov Osa-I) / K90 Viyut (Sov Osa-II)". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "NAVY - Osa I Class". Bharat-Rakshak.com. 1971-10-28. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Chapter-7". Indiannavy.nic.in. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  5. ^ "Chapter-42". Indiannavy.nic.in. Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-24.