The Indian Navy has retired two Pondicherry-class minesweepers during a ceremony held at Mumbai naval dockyard on May 9.
Minesweepers INS Karwar and INS Kakinada were retired after spending 31 years in service with the Indian Navy.
The minesweepers were acquired from the former Soviet Union in two batches from 1978 to 1988.
The Indian Navy noted that Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, who presided over the decommissioning ceremony, served as a commanding officer of INS Kakinada in the late 80’s.
India is currently working on a contract with South Korean shipbuilder Kagnam for the construction of 12 mine counter-measure vessels. Indian state-owned shipbuilder Goa Shipyard Ltd was selected to build the vessels under a transfer of technology agreement but the deal is yet to be signed due to ongoing intellectual property rights discussions.
The Indian Navy envisions to operate a total of 24 new mine counter-measure vessels.