Trivia Thursday: Indian Navy Day

Trivia Thursday: Indian Navy Day

Did you know that 4th December is celebrated as ‘Indian Navy Day’? What’s more exciting is the story behind it. Hello and welcome folks to another exciting edition of Trivia Thursday where we will have a look at the background of why Navy Day is celebrated on 4th December and some really interesting trivia about Indian Navy.

Crux of the Matter

Why Is Navy Day Celebrated On 4th December?
Indo-Pakistani War
of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It occurred during the Bangladesh Liberation War from 3 December to 16 December 1971.The war began with preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations.

It led to the commencement of hostilities with Pakistan and Indian entry into the War of Independence in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) on the side of Bengali nationalist forces. Lasting just 13 days, it is one of the shortest wars in history.

Operation Trident was an offensive operation launched by the Indian Navy on Pakistan’s port city of Karachi during the Indo-Pakistani War. Operation Trident saw the first use of anti-ship missiles in combat in the region. While India suffered no losses, Pakistan lost a minesweeper, a destroyer, a cargo vessel carrying ammunition, and fuel storage tanks in Karachi.

India celebrates its Navy Day annually on 4 December to mark this operation.

Interesting Facts
From 15 August 2001, the then ensign of the Indian navy was replaced with a white ensign bearing the Indian Navy crest, as the previous ensign was thought to reflect India’s colonial past. However, complaints arose that the new ensign was indistinguishable as the blue of the naval crest easily merged with the sky and the ocean. Hence, in 2004, the ensign was changed back to the previous with the addition of the emblem of India.

  • Ezhimala Naval Academy in Kerala is the largest naval academy in Asia.
  • Indian navy holds the distinction of one of the only two naval aerobatic teams in the world. The name of the aerobatic demonstration team is Sagar Pawan.
  • Mauritius is part of India’s security grid including the Coastal Surveillance Radar (CSR) station of the Indian Navy’s National Command Control Communication Intelligence network. The Heads of the Mauritius Navy and the Mauritian National Security Advisor are Indian officers.
  • One of the most distinguished and efficient special forces in the world, MARCOS or Marine Commandos are the special operations unit of the Indian navy. MARCOS is acknowledged as ‘Dadhiwala Fauj’ (Bearded Army) by the various terrorist groups, due to their bearded disguises in civil areas.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji, the Maratha emperor, is considered the ‘Father of the Indian Navy’.
  • INS Arihant is the first ballistic missile submarine to have been built by a country other than the five permanent members of the UNSC.

To read our previous week’s Trivia Thursday around Indian cinema at some of the world’s biggest stages, click here.

India Inducts INS Kavaratti

India Inducts INS Kavaratti

On 22nd October, INS Kavaratti was inducted in the Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam by Army Chief of Staff General MM Naravane, giving Indian Navy a boost in its anti-submarine warfare.

Crux of the Matter

About INS Kavaratti
The ship gets her name ‘Kavaratti’ from erstwhile INS Kavaratti which was an Arnala Class missile corvette and had operated in support of Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971.
It is the last of four Kamorta-class corvettes and is an indigenously built anti-submarine warfare (ASW) warship. The other three Kamorta-class corvettes are INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt, and INS Kiltan.

Other features include a medium-range gun, torpedo tube launchers, rocket launchers, a close-in weapon system, an integrated communication system, and an electronic warfare system. It is also fitted with the indigenous surveillance radar ‘Revathi’.

Role In A Fleet Of Warship
Having a limited range of weapons systems, the corvette is one of the smallest class of combat ships. Thus, corvettes are potent in patrolling in the sea due to small size. It is also equipped with one Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter. Currently, India has Kamov Ka-25, Kamov Ka-28, Kamov, Ka-31 ASW, and Westland Sea King ASW – one of the most advanced ASW helicopters, and operates from INS Garuda (Kochi) as well as INS Shikra air stations – helicopters to deploy on naval warships. Soon India will add MH-60R to its ASW helicopters fleet.

Made In India
Kavaratti is built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and 90% of its content is drawn from India. GRSE is also the first shipyard to deliver 100 warships to the Indian Navy and the Indian Coastal Guard.

  • INS Vikramaditya, India’s only Aircraft Carrier, previously served in the Soviet Army (as Baku) and in the Russian Army (as Admiral Gorshkov).
  • Operation Vijay was one of the first missions of the Indian Navy where they annexed Goa, Daman, and Diu from Portuguese forces
  • All the corvettes in the Kamorta class have been named after the islands of Lakshadweep.
  • The difference between a missile and a torpedo is that the latter is launched underwater. Essentially, a torpedo is an underwater missile.
  • No Navy veteran has ever been awarded a marshal equivalent rank. Army Veteran s Sam Manekshaw and KM Cariappa and Air Force Veteran Arjan Singh are the only Indian officers to get a Marshal equivalent rank in their respective Armed Forces.

New Beginning And A Brave Ending For Indian Armed Forces

New Beginning And A Brave Ending For Indian Armed Forces

While the iconic aircraft carrier INS Viraat sailed the last time before its dismantling, news of jubilation came from the Indian Navy as it appointed its first female airborne tacticians from warship decks. Let’s have a look at the recent events surrounding Indian Armed Forces.

Crux of the Matter

INS Viraat To Be Dismantled
INS (Indian Naval Ship) Viraat, an Aircraft Carrier ship, arrived on the Alang coast in Bhavnagar district (Gujarat) on 22 September 2020. It would be dismantled “during high tide at 1 PM on September 28” after being decommissioned in 2017 by the Indian Navy, and would be sold as scrap.

INS Viraat belonged to the ‘Centaur-Class aircraft carrier’ category, while having Sea Harriers jet fighters and ‘Anti Submarine aircraft Sea King Mk 42B, Sea King Mk 42 C and Chetak’ helicopters operate from it.

History Of INS Viraat

  • The ship was integrated into the Royal Navy of the UK in 1959 by the name ‘HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Hermes‘.
  • It played a vital role in the 1982 Falklands war between the UK and Argentina.
  • It was decommissioned by the UK in 1985, after which India purchased it in 1985-86.
  • The ship was integrated into the Indian Navy in May 1987 as INS Viraat.
  • It played an important role in Operation Jupiter (1989) during the Peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka.
  • It was deployed in Operation Parakram (2001-02) after terrorist attacks on the Parliament of India.

Indian Armed Forces – Women Make History
Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh were recently selected as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the “helicopter stream” of the Indian Navy, becoming the first women airborne tacticians in India to operate from warships’ decks. Earlier, women were restricted to ‘fixed-wing aircraft’ that both ascended from and landed on the shore.

Rear Admiral Antony George claimed that women trained for the first time in “helicopter operations” would eventually lead to women being deployed in “frontline warships of Indian Navy”.

Indian Air Force (IAF) would be inducting a female pilot (name withheld currently) in the ‘Rafale’ squadron, with the pilot currently operating MiG-21 Bison jets. IAF has been integrating women fighter pilots since 2016.

  • The motto of INS Vikrant is, Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah, which is taken from Rigveda and can be translated as “I defeat those who fight against me”. The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns.
  • The motto of INS Viraat is, Jalameva Yasya, Balameva Tasya. It translates as, “He who rules over the seas is all powerful”.
  • INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on 18 November 1959, 15 years after she was laid down in June 1944. In April 1986, Hermes was towed from Portsmouth Dockyard to Devonport Dockyard to be refitted, re-activated and sold to India.

Naval Version of Tejas successfully undertakes maiden ski-jump take-off from INS Vikramaditya

The indigenously built naval variant of Tejas aircraft developed by DRDO made its first landing on the deck of INS Vikramaditya on 12th January 2020. The light combat aircraft took off from the ‘ski-jump’ deck of the aircraft carrier.

Crux of the Matter
  • The ski-jump is the upwardly curved ramp that provides sufficient take-off lift for fighter jets.
  • Both the landing and take off by the aircraft has made India a part of the select group of countries with the capability to operate a jet from an aircraft carrier.
  • The naval version of Tejas light combat aircraft is in the development stage. 
  • The Indian Air Force has already inducted a batch of Tejas aircraft and further plans to induct 83 aircrafts costing Rs. 50,000 crores.
  • DRDO has developed the new naval variant of Tejas in collaboration with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), Aircraft Research and Design Centre of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) and CSIR.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “it a great event in the history of Indian fighter aircraft development programme.”

The Defence Research and Development Organisation is an agency of the Government of India, charged with the military’s research and development, headquartered in New Delhi. It was formed in 1958 by the merger of the Technical Development Establishment and the Directorate of Technical Development and Production of the Indian Ordnance Factories with the Defence Science Organisation. With a network of 52 laboratories engaged in developing defence technologies covering various fields, like aeronautics, armaments, electronics, land combat engineering, life sciences, materials, missiles, and naval systems, DRDO is India’s largest and most diverse research organisation. The organisation includes around 5,000 scientists belonging to the Defence Research & Development Service (DRDS) and about 25,000 other scientific, technical and supporting personnel. More Info

Bipin Rawat's Watch Continues, Now as Chief of Defence Staff

India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) has been announced. As expected, Bipin Rawat, the Army Chief that retires this year, was named for the Herculian post of CDS. He will serve as the joint-man of the armed forces until the age of 65.

Crux of the Matter
  • Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day Speech, announced that the post of Chief of Defence Staff will be created.
  • Bipin Rawat, who was retiring on 31st December as the Army Chief, was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. Rawat, who is 61, will be able to serve as incumbent until the age of 65 as per the amendment that the retiring age of CDS would be 65 years.
  • Bipin Rawat will be 4-star General, who will lead the Generals of the tri-services in joint operations, logistics, procurement, and strategy development.
  • He will also head the newly developed Cyber and Space Departments of the tri-services.
  • CDS Rawat who has commanded the Gorkha Regiment and has been active on LAC also has acquired a gamut of experience through partaking in missions against Pakistan and China. His progressive mindset has developed the Indian Army technologically, mentally, and strategically.

Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978, the same unit as his father. He has lots of experience in high altitude warfare and spent ten years conducting Counter-insurgency operations. During his career span of 37 years, he has been awarded for gallantry and distinguished service with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal and the COAS Commendation on two occasions and the Army Commander’s Commendation. More Info