INS Taragiri bows out of service

Mumbai, June 27 (IANS) Indian naval ship INS Taragiri, the last of the six British-designed but indigenously built Nilgiri class frigates, will bow out of service Thursday after 33 years of glorious service to the nation, an official here said.

INS Taragiri, christened after a hill range in the Garhwal Himalayas, was commissioned May 16, 1980, and was the youngest of her sister ships — Nilgiri, Himgiri, Dunagiri, Udaygiri and Vindhyagiri.

Cdr. Rahul Shankar, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Pune, and Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, is INS Taragiri’s 27th and last commanding officer.

The Nilgiri class frigates were the advanced versions of the Leander class of British-designed frigates and built for the Indian Navy by Mazagaon Dock Ltd, Mumbai.

When the first ship in the class, INS Nilgiri, was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1972, it became a trend-setter as they incorporated increasingly higher levels of indigenization, state-of-the-art technology, weapons and sensors of that era, the official said.

Later, INS Taragiri and INS Vindhyagiri, the last two ships in that class, were significantly modified with the addition of a Seaking anti-submarine helicopter, A244S 321mm triple torpedo tubes and a Bofors anti-submarine twin barrel mortar.

Recognising the ship’s considerably enhanced and potent anti-submarine capabilities, the ship’s crest depicts a Pallas fishing eagel, a predatory Indian bird found in the foothills of Taragiri hills, signifying that INS Taragiri was “ready to pounce at the enemy underwater,” the official added.

In recent years, it was also fitted with advance ship control systems to facilitate control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Thus, she retained her “cutting edge and functioned as the eye of the Western Naval Fleet for surveillance at extended ranges, blue water operations and network centric warfare, as also the chosen platform for coastal patrolling and anti-piracy operations,” the official said.

The solemn de-commissioning ceremony will be held later in the afternoon in Mumbai, the official added.

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