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P 50 Sukanya

The Sukanya class patrol vessels are large, offshore patrol craft. Three lead ships were built by Korea Tacoma, now part of Hanjin Group.Vessels of the Sukanya class are named after notable women from Indian epics.The Sukanya class have large hulls, although they are lightly armed since they are utilized primarily for offshore patrol of India's exclusive economic zone. However, they are capable of being heavily armed and upgraded to light frigates should the need arise.

The South Korean Ulsan frigate program had its genesis in several events that took place in the mid1970s. At that time, South Korea’s frigates and destroyers were all aging World War II-era ex-US warships. The first keel was laid in May 1979; the frigate, the Ulsan, was launched in April 1980 and commissioned on New Year’s Day 1981.

In 1986, South Korea began looking for export customers for the Ulsan class. The first (and only significant) export customer turned out to be India, which purchased three modified Ulsan class ships for its Navy in March 1987. These were intended as patrol ships and were virtually disarmed, being reduced to a single 20mm Oerlikon gun forward. Their electronics fit was also severely reduced to a single Decca 1226 navigation radar. However, the ships were equipped with a helicopter deck and hangar aft. The ships served as offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), tasked with harbor defense and protecting oil rigs and other offshore installations. They carried firefighting equipment aft. The ships proved extremely successful, and the Indian Navy produced four more ships of that design under license in Indian yards. Three more ships were subsequently built in Indian yards for the Indian Coast Guard.

INS Sukanya is the lead vessel of the Sukanya-class patrol vessels of the Indian Navy. In Hindu mythology, Sukanya was the daughter of Shryayati, son of Vaivasvata Manu and the wife of the great sage Chyavana. INS Vagli (S42) was a Vela-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy, commissioned in 1974. Along with her sister ship Vela, she spent almost 10 years undergoing a protracted refit by Hindustan Shipyard.

Attacks by Somali pirates on two cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden were thwarted by the Indian Navy warship in September 2011. INS Sukanya, an Offshore Patrol Vessel on anti-piracy duty off the Somali coast, had deployed its Marine Commandos and a helicopter to ward off the sea brigands, who were approaching the two merchant ships, in separate incidents on September 20 and 24. The pirates were on high-speed skiffs and made threatening approaches towards the merchant ships that were being escorted by INS Sukanya in the Gulf of Aden. Though it was dark, the Sukanya crew detected the approaching skiffs and following laid-down operating procedure, warned the speed boats on radio to stay clear.

The Indian Navy had continuously deployed warships in the Gulf of Aden in anti-piracy role since late October 2008 and has so far prevented hijacking of 39 cargo vessels, apart from escorting 1,700 merchant ships of different nationalities to safe ports. India rejected suggestions that its navy should go on a hot pursuit of Somali pirates, who are threatening global trade on sea lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean region.

In pursuance with India’s ‘Act East Policy’, Indian Naval Ship Sukanya under the command of Commander SA Deodhar, NM arrived at Belawan Indonesia on 24 October 2017 to participate in the 30th edition of CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) and 3rd Bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and the Indonesian Navy. The exercise is aimed to foster closer maritime ties with countries located on the rim of the Indian Ocean. The bi-lateral exercise CORPAT scheduled from 24 October – 05 November 2017 is a demonstration of India’s commitment to its ties with Indonesia and to the maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region. The two navies have been carrying out Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) on respective sides of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2002.

Indian naval ships Ranvir, Sahyadri, Gharial and Sukanya along with one maritime patrol aircraft P-8I took part in the International Multilateral Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) which was inaugurated by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday in the port city of Cox’s Bazar. The exercise took place in November 2017 under the aegis of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) — an initiative of the Indian Navy that was launched in 2008 to bring together littoral states in the region.

Two ships of the class, INS Subhadra (P51) and INS Suvarna (P53), were retrofitted with a missile stabilisation platform to launch Dhanush ship-based ballistic missiles. INS Subhadra was modified in 2000 to serve as a launch platform for the 250-km-ranged Dhanush ballistic missile, whose 500-kg payload is sufficient to accommodate a nuclear warhead. The 1,890-ton (full-load displacement) ship was equipped to stow two of the missiles horizontally in the helicopter hangar; if the program is pursued, however, the Subhadra and the five other units of the Sukanya -class may be equipped to launch up to eight Dhanushes. The Subhadra was given an Ajanta-P Mk II intercept system and enhanced communications capabilities for her trials role but retains the standard class defensive armament of only one hand-operated 40-mm cannon and four machine guns.

Dhanush was test fired for the first time on April 11, 2000, from the Chandipur-on-sea integrated test range but it failed at the blast-off stage due to a technical snag. The second test was carried out from INS Subhadra on September 21, 2001. The two subsequent experiments were carried out on November 7, 2004 and December 28, 2005 from INS Subhadra and INS Rajput respectively. India's indigenously developed surface-to-surface ballistic missile Dhanush, which has a range of 250 kilometers, was test fired from a naval ship in Chandipur base in Orissa on 30 March 2007. The test launch was conducted from INS Subhadra at around 1430 hours IST. Dhanush, said to be the naval version of surface-to-surface missile Prithvi was being exclusively developed for Indian Navy.

The INS Sarayu was sold to Sri Lanka in 2000 to guard Sri Lankan coasts against attacks from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The ship was rechristened the SLNS Sayura.

DisplacementFull - 1890
Length 101.1 m
Beam 11.5 m
Draft 3.4 m
Range 7000 miles @ 15 knots
Speed 21 kts
Armament 1 x 20 mm Oerlikon
Aircraft 1 x Chetak
Crew15 (Officers)
125 (Enlisted)

Name Number Homeport Builder Ordered Commissioned Decomm
Sukanya P 50 Korea-Tacoma 31 Aug 89
Subhadra P 51 Korea-Tacoma 25 Jan 90
Suvarna P 52 Korea-Tacoma 4 Apr 91
Savitri P 53 Hindustan 27 Nov 90
Sarayu P 54 Hindustan 8 Oct 91 2000
Sharda P 55 Hindustan 27 Oct 91
Sujata P 56 Hindustan 3 Nov 93 training

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Page last modified: 04-11-2018 17:47:29 ZULU