Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nilgiri Class Guided Missile Frigates of the Indian Navy

 Government of India’s decision to build Leander class Guided Missile Frigates (updated version) at Mazagon Dock Ltd. based on the designs obtained from the Ministry of  Defence (MOD), U.K. in early 1960s marked the early steps of modern warship building in the country.MDL  in collaboration with Vickers Defence Systems
and Yarrow (Shipbuilders)Ltd.

Six ships were built between 1972-81 at MDL. Ships of the class formed the 14th Frigate Squadron. The class and its lead ship, INS Nilgiri are named for the Nilgiri Hills. Subsequent ships in the class are also named for hill ranges of India.
The class and its lead ship, INS Nilgiri were named for the Nilgiri Hills. Subsequent, ships in the class were also named for hill ranges of India. INS Himgiri (F-34), INS Udaygiri (F-35), INS Dunagiri (F-36), INS Taragiri (F-41) & INS Vindhyagiri (F-42).  The last two vessels (F41 and F42) had more powerful engines than the earlier ones.
INS Nilgiri (F 33), first of the class was commissioned in 1972. Decommissioned in 1996.She was sunk on April 24, 1997, in a test firing of a Sea EagleSea Harrier Frs Mk.51 taking off from INS Viraat.
 INS Taragiri (F 41) was commissioned into the Navy on May 16, 1980. Named after a hill range in Garhwal Himalayas in Northern India.
INS Udaygiri (F35), an Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate, the third of the Leander class ships to be built indigenously was commissioned into the Navy on February 18, 1976. She was decommissioned on August 24, 2007. The ship derived her name from the Udaygiri hills in the state of Orissa. The cover illustrates "Man and Cheer Ship" during the last operational sailing of the ship.
 INS Dunagiri (F 36), the fourth of the class was commissioned on 5 May 1977. De-commissioned on 20 October 2010 at Mumbai after having rendered 33 years of glorious service.Named after one of the Himalayan peaks. Her crest depicts the Osprey, a Himalayan bird and the ship's motto is 'Victory Is My Profession'.
I understand there is no philatelic example available on INS Himgiri and INS Vindhyagiri.
INS Himgiri (F34) was commissioned into the Navy on November 23, 1974. the second Indian-built multi-role warship that remained fighting fit for 30 years, slipped into history on  May 6, 2005 as sailors lowered the naval ensign on her quarterdeck and her Paying Off Pennant, as a bugler sounded the last post.  INS Himgiri holds the record for the number of days at sea in a single deployment for a conventional ship of the Indian Navy. In 1976, she was the first ship of the Indian Navy to shoot down a pilot-less aircraft.

INS Vindhyagiri (F42), the last of the class was commissioned on 8 July 1981. On 30 January 2011, INS Vindhyagiri collided with a Cyprus flag merchant ship MV Nordlake near Sunk Rock Lighthouse at the entrance of Mumbai Harbour. On 31 January 2011, the ship sank due to the damage caused by the collision and subsequent fire.  Reportedly re-floated by TITAN Salvage on 15 February 2011

Urgently needed the following stamps and FDCs/Special Covers for my personal  collection. Can buy or exchange.

Shall appreciate an early response/offer.


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