Importance of INS Dweeprakshak: India’s Naval Sentinel

By Swapna Nair, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

Many islands in the Indian Ocean and Pacific were the appendages of the imperialist metropolises in the days of colonial expansion. And Lakshadweep, located on a centuries-old trade route that connected South India to West Asia and Europe, had to curl up with the vestiges of the ‘global dynamics’ of the European colonial powers. Continue reading “Importance of INS Dweeprakshak: India’s Naval Sentinel”

Sentinels of the Deep: INS Karanj

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

The efficacy of submarines as a potent military machine was established during the Second World War. Since then, the advancement of these submersible combat vessels have earned them the sobriquet of ‘silent killers of the deep’. They are valued for their relative undetectability underwater and capability to sneak up and destroy a much stronger warships using lethal torpedoes or anti-ship missiles. This gives them the badge of being one of the best deterrents that any navy can possess. The Indian Navy inducted its first submarines in 1967, which were the Foxtrot-class submarines from the erstwhile Soviet Union. Today, the Indian Navy submarine arm has come a long way progressing towards indigenous construction and demonstrating India’s technological prowess. Continue reading “Sentinels of the Deep: INS Karanj”

Celebrating Woman in Indian Maritime History

By Mamum Megu, Reserach Intern


International women’s day is an event to commemorate the progress made towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, it is imperative to acknowledge and appreciate the prodigious contribution of women to Indian Maritime History.

Women’s occupancy in the Indian Armed Forces initially came to fruition in the year 1888 with the formation of the Indian Military Nursing Service. The nursing staff of the Indian Army played an outstanding role during World War I. Their commitment in the wartime was so stellar that the Women’s Auxiliary Corps (India) was formed on 9 April 1942 that would expedite women’s workforce to serve in non-combat roles. Continue reading “Celebrating Woman in Indian Maritime History”

Exercise Milan: A Brief Overview of the Multilateral Naval Exercise in the Indian Ocean Region

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

The Indian subcontinent has a vast history of flourishing maritime associations that predominantly involved commerce, culture and religion. However, the legacy of the erstwhile Indian mariners and seafarers who plied the oceans afar was gradually eclipsed by the lure of terrestrial possession until the last century. The liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation reforms in India in the ’90s can be regarded as a tipping point of enunciation of a change in the policy and national outlook towards our maritime frontiers. It rendered increased attention towards infrastructural development of Indian ports and its underlying coastal areas thereby placing the blueprint of maritime strategies on a national pedestal. This paradigm shift in our strategic outlook gained gradual prominence. Continue reading “Exercise Milan: A Brief Overview of the Multilateral Naval Exercise in the Indian Ocean Region”

Anti-Piracy Operation Of Lakshadweep Islands

By Swapna Nair, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society


Piracy has been widely romanticized by writers and filmmakers, and many people often harbor visions of bearded rebels sailing seas of endless blue, something close to a maritime “Robin Hood’ of sorts. In truth, modern-day piracy (in whatever form) is a violent, bloody, and ruthless practice.[1] Pirates steal, mangle and even kill. In addition, the fearsome captivity of victims for ransom is yet another sombre act. Although maritime piracy is a historical phenomenon, it has reemerged in recent years off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Guinea, and in the international straits of Indonesia.[2] Global acts of piracy rose quickly on the coast of Somalia from 2008 to 2011 and steadily grew off the east coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, among other places.[3] Somali piracy appears to be on the decline, in large mainly because of the effectiveness of international efforts to combat piracy, however, global piracy continues to challenge the international shipping and trade industry, coastal states, and seafarers worldwide.

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Remembering Indian Navy’s Humanitarian Intervention: Tsunami 2004

By Krishna Kataria Project Research Associate, Maritime History Society (MHS)

When on 26 December 2004, Tsunami struck due to an undersea earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, within 12 hours the first Indian naval helicopters were in Sri Lanka with relief material. In the next 24 hours, two Indian naval ships were already in Galle and Trincomalee and three others had been dispatched to Male. And within a few days, the Indian Navy had converted two of its ships into hospital ships and sent them to Indonesia, which was the worst hit. Since then, the Indian Navy has played a leading role in being the first determinant in humanitarian operations carried out in the Indian Ocean littorals.

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Vande Bharat: Indian Navy’s Samudra Setu Mission

By Dennard H D’Souza ,Research Associate, Maritime History Society

The Vande Bharat is one mammoth mission to evacuate the diaspora Indians stranded all throughout the globe. It has been touted as one of the biggest achievements of the Modi government in almost warlike peace times. But in all this conversation we should not lose sight of the contribution of the Indian navy. The operation Samudra Setu is the Navy’s major deployment in the current times. The last we heard of such an evacuation of Indian and foreign nationals was from Yemen, operation Raahat in 2015. This was done on behest of the Ministry of external affairs. But what makes Samudra Setu different is the purpose of its mission. The navy out here has to combat the unseen enemy which is lurking at the corner. This enemy is the devious corona virus which make every person a potential carrier. The navy has to perform a fine balancing act by ferrying passengers and keeping them apart.

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