Today in Transportation History – 2014: A New Addition to the Indian Navy

Following the completion of her sea trials, a new state-of-the-art vessel was delivered by India’s Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) to the Indian Navy. INS Sumitra was the fourth and last Saryu-class patrol vessel to be built for the Indian Navy. Measuring 344 feet in length, she is also the Indian Navy’s longest offshore patrol vessel.

INS Sumitra was specifically handed over to Indian Navy Commander Milind Mokashi, who had been designated the new vessel’s first commanding officer. During this ceremony, GSL chairman and managing director Shekhar Mital (a retired Indian Navy rear admiral) highlighted the technological advantages of INS Simitra in carrying out various missions. “It is suitable for monitoring sea lanes of communication, defense of offshore oil installations and other critical offshore national assets,” he said. “Besides the vessel can be deployed to escort high-value ships and fleet support operations.”

Ceremonial Colour Guard hoisting the Naval ensign for the first time on board INS Sumitra

Several weeks later, INS Sumitra was officially commissioned into the Indian Navy fleet by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Rabinder “Robin” Kumar Dhowan. The vessel has since conducted a number of maritime surveillance and coastal security operations. She also serves as India’s presidential yacht.

In addition, INS Sumitra performed a critical role in March 2015 when she retrieved 350 Indian citizens who were stranded in Yemen during a military intervention conducted there by Saudi Arabia and its allies. INS Sumitra’s evacuation of those citizens was part of large-scale rescue effort undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces and formally called Operation Raahat. After picking up the stranded Indian citizens at the Yemeni port city of Aden, INS Sumitra safely transported them across the Red Sea to the Republic of Djibouti in northeast Africa.

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