Hello defence lovers! On 21st May 2021, INS Rajput was decommissioned from the service of Indian after 41 years of glorious service. In this article, we are going to look at the glorious service of INS Rajput in detail.
INS Rajput is a Kashin class destroyer. She has the hull number D 51 where D stands for a destroyer. The Indian navy has a tradition of naming its ships on previously decommissioned ships. She was named after INS Rajput (D141) or HMS Rotherham as she was known in the Royal Navy.
INS Rajput displaces 3950 tons under a standard load. She is powered by 4 gas turbines producing 72000 hp and 54000 kW power. She has a maximum range of 6400 km and a maximum speed of 35 knots. She has a complement of 285 sailors and 35 officers.
She carried 4 Brahmos, 2 Styx, and 1 Dhanush ballistic missile. She is equipped with a 2 S125 M Pechora launcher with 32 missiles. She is equipped with anti-submarine weapons such as torpedoes and RBU 6000 anti-submarine rocket launchers. She is also armed with 4 AK230 CIWS and 2 3-inch main guns. She also carries a chetak helicopter on her flight deck.
INS Rajput Indian Navy’s First Destroyer
Though the Indian navy had operated destroyers before Rajput, those destroyers were of the second world war era. INS Rajput was the first guided-missile destroyer of the Indian Navy. It was the result of Admiral combined efforts of top Indian navy commanders including Admiral SM Nanda, to modernise the Indian Navy. INS Rajput was a Soviet Kashin class destroyer. Before procuring this Indian Navy had ordered several other Soviet Naval Hardware such as the Osa class missile boats, the foxtrot class submarines, the Petya class corvettes, etc. Indian navy was impressed with the performance of these Soviet vessels in the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.
INS Rajput was the lead ship of the Rajput class of 5 destroyers which includes INS Rajput itself, INS Rana, INS Ranjit, INS Ranvir and INS Ranvijay. She was laid down on 11 September 1976 in 61 Communard Shipyard in Nikolaev (Present-day Ukraine), Launched on 17 September 1977 and the construction was completed on 30th November 1979. During her construction, she was known as “Nadeshny” meaning “hope”. She was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 4th May 1980. Vice Admiral Gulab Mohanlal Hiranandani, a veteran of the 1971 war, who was a captain back then became her first commanding officer.
INS Rajput’s Service
Since then INS Rajput had seen a glorious service life. She had a significant contribution to various overseas operations of the Indian Navy. Between 1987 and 1990, she was given patrol duties off the coast of Sri Lanka as a part of the Indian Peacekeeping Force during operation Pawan. During Operation Aman, she was tasked to assist Indian Peacekeepers in Sri Lanka. In 1988, she was dispatched to participate in Operation Cactus which saved the Maldives from a military coup.
INS Ranjit was the first ship in the Indian Navy to fire Brahmos supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. Though she didn’t have a modern vertical launching system, her inclined launchers were modified to fire the Brahmos. She served as a trial platform for the Integration of Brahmos on naval vessels. In 2007 a new variant of the Prithvi-III missile was test-fired from INS Rajput. She also tracked the Dhanush Ballistic missile during a test in 2005.
INS Rajput served in both the Eastern fleet and the western fleet of the Indian Navy. In the later years of her service, she often served as the escort ship of the Vikramadiyya’s carrier battle group. She also became the first ship in the Indian Navy which was affiliated to a regiment of the Indian Army. This practice is done in order to increase the understanding between the different services of the Indian Armed forces. She was affiliated with the Rajput Regiment of the Indian Army. Her sister ship, INS Ranjit was decommissioned last year. She was used as a target in TROPEX 21 and was sunk.
She was decommissioned from the service of the Indian navy on 21st May 2021 after 41 years of glorious service. She also became the longest-serving vessel in the Indian navy. During her entire service life, She proved her motto ” राज करेगा राजपूत”.