After spending 32 years of service in the Indian Navy, INS Godavari, the nation’s first indigenously designed and built warship Indian Naval Ship Godavari is scheduled to be decommissioned on December 23, 2015.
With her decommissioning, INS Godavari (F-20) will complete its full life cycle, meeting all responsibilities and duties assigned, as the Navy said.
Over the past three decades, Godavari has been deployed in numerous operations, including ‘Operation Jupiter’ – 1988 (Sri Lanka), ‘Operation Shield’ and ‘Operation Bolster’ – 1994 (de-induction of Indian Army from Somalia) and ‘Patrol of Gulf of Aden’ (PoG) – 2009, 2011 (anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden).
According to the Indian Navy, in 1988, in an operation called ‘Operation Cactus’, India successfully thwarted a coup d’état against Maldivian Government. Godavari and Betwa intercepted and arrested the mercenaries, who tried to flee Male onboard the Merchant Vessel Progress Light. The mercenaries were later handed over to Male.
The Leander Frigate Project of the 1960-70s, resulted in the construction of six ‘Giri Class’ frigates (based on the Leander design and in collaboration with the UK) at Mazagon Docks Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). As the project was nearing completion, the Directorate of Naval Design at IHQ MoD (Navy), evolved a design for a new generation frigate. MDL was entrusted with the construction of this indigenous frigate, which would essentially retain the steam propulsion of the ‘Giri’ class frigates.
Whilst the Giris were gunships, the Godavari class frigates were armed with surface to surface and surface to air guided missiles. She was also capable of carrying two Sea King helicopters (well known as the ‘Flying Frigate’, because of its integral firepower and sensor suite). The frigate’s weapon and sensor suite comprised of a mix of Russian and Western systems.
Godavari’s keel was laid on 03 November 1978 by Adm J Cursetji, CNS, and she was launched on May 15, 1980. At the time of decommissioning she would have served the country for little over 32 years.