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P 49 Khukri Class

These vessels were originally conceived as a class of 12 units, being divided into three sub-classes of anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare platforms. However due to budgetary constraints and extensive delays in construction & weapons supplies, the number has been revised downwards. These ships were intended to be the replacement for the Petya II corvettes. The initial ships were ordered in 1984 with two more vessels ordered in 1985.

Project 25 Khukri Class

In the mid 1960's, Government had accepted in principle the Navy's requirements for 500 ton patrol craft. In subsequent years, various options were considered - building them in Bombay in the Gun Carriage Basin near INS Kunjali, building them in the new Naval Dockyard at Visakhapatnam etc. By the early 1970's, two schools of thought had emerged. One view was that with the cost of ships steadily increasing, the Navy had no option but to go in for small, fast, missile armed corvettes. The other view was that in view of foreseeable threats, all the staff requirements could not be met in a 500 ton patrol craft.

The outcome was that the 500 ton patrol craft got renamed as the Corvette Project, to be built in two versions - anti aircraft and anti submarine. International tenders were called for and various weapon packages were considered. Eventually, in 1973 the project was dropped because of the serious shortage of foreign exchange.

NHQ then decided that the corvettes would be designed and built indigenously. The Naval staff took a decision to go ahead and start work on a design and construct a Corvette to our Indian specification, which would accommodate a helo plus four Soviet surface to surface missiles and a Soviet gun mounting. After this decision was taken, the normal process of model testing, powering and general layout were all finalised as a preliminary design.

There were a lot of discussions whether for anti missile defence India should go in for the Soviet 30 mm gun mountings or the Bofors 40/70 gun mountings. That took about six to seven months. Ultimately a clear decision was given that we should have four surface to surface missiles plus the Soviet guns. It was also decided to fit some of the Leanders', radars, sonar, and communication equipment. Project 25 was initially conceived in the 1980's as a class of 12 units, divided into 3 subclasses of anti-air, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare vessels. They were to replace the 11 Petya-II Class corvettes that had been acquired between 1969 and 1974 from the Soviet Union. Extensive delays in construction and weapons supplies, and budgetary constraints, led to the number of units being revised downwards as the unit cost of these warships escalated.

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