INS RANVIJAY fires a missile during a joint Indo-Lanka naval exercise at Trincomalee navy base

A naval nation, India is investing heavily into ships, aircraft, and weapons to keep its shores safe and waters well-guarded.

Pakistan may be India’s main regional rival, but in terms of naval projection of force the nation it competes with is China. Beijing is a rising superpower, but New Delhi has plenty of valuable assets at its disposal too.

INS Vikramaditya

MiG-29K aircraft parked on the deck of INS Vikramaditya. ©REUTERS / Shailesh Andrade

India’s sole aircraft carrier started its life as the Admiral Gorshkov, a Soviet Kiev-class warship commissioned in the late 1980s. She underwent a major overhaul of equipment before joining the Indian Navy in June 2014. MiG-29Ks and Kamov anti-submarine and early warning and control helicopters comprise her air fleet.

INS Arihant

Building a naval platform for nuclear weapons is a major challenge, which Indian engineers successfully overcame (with some Russian help) with the INS Arihant, India’s first domestic ballistic missile submarine. The class lead was commissioned in 2016 and is to be followed by three more ships of the same design.

INS Kalvari

One of the most modern attack submarines in the Indian fleet, the INS Kalvari was commissioned in September. She is the second of six submarines that India plans to build and is designed by the French defence giant DCNS.

Kolkata-Class Destroyers

Three Kolkata-class ‘stealth’ guided missile destroyers spearhead of India’s surface fighting fleet. Commissioned between 2014 and 2016, they feature advanced Israeli-built radar, which India also plans to install on its future destroyers and first indigenous aircraft carrier. 16 Russian-Indian supersonic BrahMos missiles that can be fired in a single salvo are the primary surface attack weapon, with Israeli Barak-8 anti-aircraft projectiles covering air defence.

INS Chakra

Another result of India’s cooperation with Russia, the INS Chakra is the only nuclear-propelled attack submarine in the Indian Navy. The Akula-class sub used to be called Nerpa before Moscow agreed to lease it to New Delhi in 2012.

INS Tarangini And INS Sudarshini

The two sister ships may not be of much use in modern combat, being three-mast barques and carrying no naval weapons, but they serve an important role in the Indian Navy as they are used to train young cadets.

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