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M 61 Pondicherry Class
(Sov Natya)

Mine countermeasures were provided by a dozen old Pondicherry (Natya) vessels. The twelve vessels of this class were acquired in two batches, the first six of the Pondicherry Class between 1978 and 1980, and the second six of the Karwar Class between 1986 and 1988. A new class of ships to replace them has been planned, but has run into delays and might even be cancelled.

INS Pondicherry was commissioned at Port Riga on 02 Feb 1978 under the command of Cdr SJ Contractor. The ship was the second minesweeper of her class. The last Commanding Officer was Cdr M Ramachandran. The ship had the proud privilege of providing a sound foundation for many an officers and sailors of the Indian Navy with four officers who served on board having risen to the Flag Rank. The ship was the Presidential Yacht for president Fleet Review in Feb 84. She also displayed the National flag and naval ensign beyond Indian waters at Male in Sep 85 and Dec 90. The ship was formally decommissioned at sunset on 05 Oct 07 at ND (MB) with serving and retired naval personnel who have served on board in attendance.

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