INS Mumbai, a frontline guided missile destroyer of the Indian Navy celebrated her 20th anniversary on 22 January. The ship’s association with Mumbai city is unique as it is the only IN ship stationed at her namesake city.
The ship has an extremely illustrious lineage and rich legacy of dominance at sea since her first avatar of HCS Bombay in 18th century. Of the fifteen ‘Bombays’, preceding the present one, nine were warships. The tenth one is named after “Mumbai” in tune with change in nomenclature of the city.
The ship’s motto is “Aham Prayptam Tvidametesam Balam”, which translates to “I am Invincible”, resonates with the spirit of the city. The ship’s crest also draws inspiration from the City depicting the main gateway entrance to the Bombay Castle Barracks commissioned in 1951 in the honour of great Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre.
INS Mumbai, built indigenously at Mazagon Dock, is the latest of three P-15 class destroyers and was commissioned by the then Governor of Maharashtra Dr P.C. Alexander. Since commissioning, the ship has rendered yeoman service to the nation and has always excelled in all her endeavours. She was adjudged the ‘Best Ship’ thrice and the ‘Most Spirited Ship’ twice which is a rare feat for any warship.
With a displacement of over 6500 tons, the ship is manned by 350 sailors and 40 officers. The majestic ship spanning 163 metres in length, 17 metres at the beam, propelled by four gas turbines is capable of achieving speeds in excess of 32 knots. Fitted with an enviable, state-of-the-art weapons suite, which includes Surface to Surface Missiles, Surface to Air Missiles, Anti-Submarine rockets and torpedoes, the ship can unleash lethal firepower upon the enemy. The ship also operates all kinds of helicopters in the naval inventory, which are its extended eyes and ears.
The ship has been at the forefront of major Naval Operations like Op Parakram (2002), Op Sukoon (2006: evacuation of Indian, Nepalese and Sri Lankan citizens from Lebanon) and Op Rahat (2015: evacuation of Indian and foreign nationals from Yemen).
With an aim of fostering greater understanding of combat-potential and synergising the available means and resources of the armed forces, the ship is affiliated to Maratha Light Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army. The raison d’etre of the affiliation is to produce a battle winning combination in war.
Interestingly, various parts of the ship have been christened after iconic locales in the city of Mumbai. To name a few, the entrance to the ship is called the ‘Gateway’, dining halls are called ‘Khau Galli’, and the Flag staff light is called ‘Prongs Lighthouse’. Tucked away like ‘Virar’ in one corner is the Quarterdeck, while the Helo deck is known as ‘Sahar Airport’ and the awe-inspiring panoramic view from the ship’s bridge is referred to as ‘Malabar Hill’.
To commemorate her 20th anniversary, various events like blood donation camp, tree plantation drive and a run between two prominent locations of Mumbai; Girgaon Chowpati to JK Kapur Chowk, Worli, where, the ship’s model is installed, were conducted.