SOURCE: Jane’s Navy International
After retiring all but one of its Pondicherry (Natya I)-class minesweepers, the Indian Navy is now focusing on interim minesweeping and portable sonar systems as an interim measure while awaiting the acquisition of new mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs), service officials have told Jane’s .
The Indian Navy decommissioned three Pondicherry-class MCMVs on 23 March. The 61 m vessels, INS Cuddalore , INS Cannanore , and INS Konkan , were retired after about three decades of service. INS Kozhikode (M 71) is now India’s sole MCM ship that is still in service, and it is currently deployed with the navy’s 21st MCM squadron.
Among portable systems currently employed include 12 units of the EdgeTech-supplied Littoral Mine Countermeasures Sonars (LMCS). The systems are now being deployed from a number of different platforms, including the service’s fleet of Car Nicobar-class fast attack craft.
In addition, the Indian Navy has also issued a request for information (RFI) for at least eight units of expendable underwater mine disposal systems. Being sought is a portable and expandable remotely operated vehicle (ROV)-based system that can detect and neutralise mines in harbours and sea approaches.