INS Mumbai : A Photo Essay
By Kapil Chandni, BR Correspondent
All images © Indian Navy via Kapil Chandni
The author wishes to thank the Indian Navy and Mazagaon Dock Limited for help in preparing this feature.
On the eve of Navy Week, last year, then incumbent Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha chose to have his media briefing in Mumbai harbour on board the eponymous and indigenously-built ship. INS Mumbai at the time had just returned along with the rest of the fleet from a long, interesting deployment in the North Arabian Sea during Operation Parakram.
Along with her sister ships, INS Delhi and INS Mysore, she played a critical command & control role out at sea, during the Western Fleet's longest deployment at sea. Ever since commissioning, the Delhi Class of ships have managed to wow navies the world over. They have been regular participants at international maritime gatherings and have shown off India's high technology capabilities to the best. Coupled with the Indian Navy's dedication and professionalism, this has generated tremendous goodwill and respect internationally for the Indian Navy.
The Crest of INS Mumbai
The ship's crest depicts the main gateway entrance to the Bombay Castle Barracks, which was built in 1548 and after a long and chequered history, commissioned in 1951 as INS Angre in honour of the great Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre. The castle gateway depicted on the crest has a watch tower with three look-out posts and stands against the backdrop of the ramparts of the fort.
Two typical fast galleys, the Ghurabs, depicted on either side of the fort signify the glorious seafaring and maritime traditions of the great Marathas (the first warship 'Bombay' was also built to a Ghurab design at the Bombay Dockyard in 1739). The waves at the foot of the crest and the light blue background together depict the blue waters on which the ship, Mumbai will sail under a serene blue sky. The Sanskrit motto, which means, "I am Invincible, signifies the indomitable spirit of INS Mumbai."
The Erstwhile BOMBAYs
It is said that old ships never die; their souls live on to awaken in a new avatar. Of the fifteen Bombays preceding the present one, nine were warships. The tenth warship Mumbai rightfully christened after the economic nerve centre of India, heralds the latest re-incarnation of that indomitable spirit. It is perhaps ironic that the first warship Bombay was built to the design of a captured Maratha Ghurab and put to use by the British East India Company against the Marathas themselves (the Ghurab design was anglicized by the British as the 'Grab' class).
History repeated itself in that the first warship Bombay was commissioned by the then Governor of Bombay in 1739, while 262 years later, the Governor of Maharashtra, His Excellency Dr. P C Alexander, commissioned the Mumbai on 22 January 2001. Though the ninth warship Bombay was built in Sydney, and the fourth was built in Deptford, there were ten Bombays (eight of them combatants) built in the Bombay Dockyard. A befitting continuum therefore that the tenth warship of the same lineage, the Mumbai has also been built in Mumbai itself, to an indigenous design, by the Mazagaon Dock Limited.
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