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P 68 Arnala Class
Sov Petya III
Frigate

The Arnala class frigates are the export version of the Petya II and are believed to be based primarily at Vizag. These ships were decommissioned as the new Kora class vessels came into service.

On 1 September 1965, the India and the Soviet Union signed an agreement that included the acquisition of five Petya Class anti submarine vessels.

Two Petyas, KAMORTA and KADMATT were commissioned in December 1968. The Petyas sailed for home from Vladivostok. KHANDERI and AMBA returned via the Cape of Good Hope. As soon as the first two Petyas, KAMORTA and KADMATT arrived in Visakhapatnam, they started being used as "floating classrooms" so as to minimise the duration of training in Russia of the subsequent crews.

The crews of KAVARATTI and KATCHALL, the fourth and fifth Petyas, which had been trained in Visakhapatnam, were deputed to Russia for just 6 weeks to take over the ships and sail them back to India. The Russians were impressed with their efficiency and professional knowledge, considering that they had neither received any training in Vladivostok nor had adequate training facilities been set up in Visakhapatnam.

The Pakistan Navy's acquisition of "silent" Daphne class submarines made it unlikely that they could be detected on passive sonars. The vagaries of hydrology in the Arabian Sea favoured the submarine because the temperature layers in the sea refracted a ship's sonar transmissions. The range of the Daphne's class submarine's latest homing torpedoes exceeded by far the maximum detection range and the weapon range of the Navy's anti submarine frigates. There was, therefore, a pressing need for longer range sonars, longer range homing torpedoes, and variable depth/dunking sonar which could overcome hydrological constraints.

The last three Petyas KILTAN, KAVARATTI and KATCHALL commissioned in end 1969. The Russian Petyas which started arriving from 1968 onwards greatly increased anti submarine capability. Their medium range sonars had a maximum detection range of several thousand meters; their anti submarine rockets had a range of a few thousand metres and the range of their heavy, anti submarine, homing torpedoes matched that of their medium range sonars.

INS Anjadip, the last of the Petya class ships of the Indian Navy which rendered glorious service in safeguarding the vast maritime frontiers of the country for over three decades, was decommissioned at a solemn ceremony held at the Naval Base, Visakhapatnam in early 2004. The decommissioning ceremony was conducted with full service decorum and elan at the Naval Jetty. Vice Admiral OP Bansal, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command who was the chief guest on the occasion, inspected the ceremonial guard.

At the stroke of sunset, the colours which the ship had flown with pride through out her 31 years of service were brought down for the last time. With the sounding of the last post, the Paying off Pennant was lowered and a box containing the ships's naval ensign was handed over to FOC-in-C by the last Commanding Officer of INS Anjadip, Cdr Siddhartha Panda, marking the decommissioning of the naval ship. The ENC Band played martial music befitting the occasion.

Anjadip was commissioned under the command of Capt RP Bhalla in the erstwhile USSR in December 1972. The contribution of Anjadip was immense to the western seaboards of the country. Her role in the anti-submarine warfare was particularly praiseworthy. Anjadip served initially under the operational control of Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command as a component of the 32nd Patrol Vessel Squadron. On March 1, 1979, she was transferred to Visakhapatnam. The ship has since remained a constituent of the Eastern Fleet and was re-designated as the senior ship of the 31st Patrol Vessel Squadron.

Specifications
DisplacementStandard - 950
Full - 1110
Length 82.3 m
Beam 9.2 m
Draft 3.2 m
Speed 32 kts
Range 4000 miles @ 20 knots
Armament 4 x 76 mm (2 twin)
3 x 533 mm (triple) tubes, Type 53 torpedoes
2 depth charge racks
2 mine rails
Crew98

Ships
Name Number Homeport Builder Ordered Commissioned Decomm
Arnala P 68 Vishakapatnam 29 Jun 1972 Decommisioned
Androth P 69 Vishakapatnam 30 June 1972 Decommisioned
Anjadip P 73 Vishakapatnam 23 Dec 1972 Decommisioned
Andaman P 74 28 Dec 1973 1990
Amini P 75 Vishakapatnam 12 Dec 1974 Decommisioned
Kamorta P 77 21 Nov 1968 1991
Kadmath P 78 23 Dec 1968 1992
Kiltan P 79 30 Oct 1969 1987
Kavaratti P 80 23 Dec 1969 1986
Katchal P 81 23 Dec 1969 1990




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